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oox Airv wncAV, psarrxxfl, obsac qvuv snan, 
uvoour's-iirir vzxids. 


In consequence of the continued demand for a new 
edition of this Memoir of a noble-hearted Englishman 
— " the foremost man '* in the hunting-field for a period 
of more than half a century — at a price that shall place 
it within the reach of all who take an interest in the 
chase, it is now re-issued in a more popular form. 

The compiler of the " Keminiscences " has gladly availed 
himself of the opportunity thus afforded him of rendering 
the work somewhat more worthy of public approval, not 
only by careful revision of the text, but by weaving the 
greater part of the originally bulky Appendix into the 
main fabric of the Memoir. This improvement, indeed, 
he had fully intended to effect when the second edition was 
called for, but he was obliged to postpone it in conse- 
quence of the delay which it would have occasioned in 
the publication. 

He is indebted to Mr. E. S. Morgan for his able assist- 
ance in preparing the present edition for the press. 

Weston-sufxb-Mare, Jwm, 1862. 


After the death of Mr. Assheton Smith, his Widow 
entertained a strong desire to rescue his character from the 
reflections which had been cast upon it by one of the 
leading journals. Feeling that justice had not been done 
him, she requested the author, who may rather be called 
the compiler, of the following narrative, to draw up a 

For this purpose, she authorized him to ask permission 
of the Editor of the Fidd to make use of the able and 
interesting articles which from time to time appeared 
in that publication, descriptive of the life and pursuits of 
Mr. Assheton Smith, and which she considered gave the 
best and most accurate representation of the character and 
qualities of her husband. This being willingly accorded, 
the author promised his assistance, and had many conver- 
sations with her on the subject of the Memoir, in which 
she evinced the deepest interest. In fetct, it appeared 
almost wholly to occupy her thoughts during the few 
months she lived after the death of Mr. Smith. 

Only a short time before she died, but when as yet her 
illness had not assumed an alarming aspect, the author went 
expressly to Torquay by her desire, to receive her instruc-^ 


tions respecting it ; bat on his arrival she was too ill to see 
him and he never afterwards saw her again. Some letters 
and memoranda in her own writing, showing how anxious 
she was for the realisation of her wishes, have* been delivered 
to him since her death, by one of her nearest relatives, 
who was with her during her last illness. He has therefore 
undertaken the task as a solemn duty committed to him, to 
be discharged as zealously as if her life had been spared, 
but with sincere regret that she has not been allowed to 
witness its performance. 

In endeavouring faithfully to record what matmala he 
has been able to collect, re^pectmg the life and character of 
one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of British sportsmen, 
he haa had much gratification in being able, from his per- 
sonal knowledge of him, to pay thia humble tribute to his 
nobler qualities as a man and a» a Christian. 

The text of the articles in the Field has been incor- 
porated into the following pages, not always word for word, 
or in the ordw in which the anecdotes appeared, but as 
they blended best with the current of the narrative. The 
author returns his grateful acknowledgments to several 
friends of the late Mr. Assheton Smith for authentic 
particulars respecting him ; and for their kind assistance in 
a labour rtedered somewhat arduous, in consequence of the 
very long period of time which has elapsed since Mr. Smith 
was in the aenith of his reputation as a rider and master of 
hounds. His thanks are especially due to the Rev. Henry 
Fowle, of Chute Lodge, near Andover, who lived with 
Mr. and Mrs. Smith for many years on the most intimate 
terms of friendship, and heard many of the raciest and 
most characteristic anecdotes from the mouth of the gallant 
sportsman himself 



The genealogical acconnt of the ancestors of the Ted- 
worth fiimily has been derived from Mr. William Craven, 
of Clifton, to whom the author also expresses his -obli- 

Bath, December, 1859. 





Preliminary observations. — Birth and parentage of T. Assbeton 
Smith. — ^Anecdotes of bis cbildbood. — He is sent to Eton. — His 
fight with John Musters. — Subsequent pugilistic encounters. — 
Entered at Christ Church, Oxford. — Becomes famous as a cricketer. 
— ^Begins to hunt in Leicestershire with Hugo Meynell. — Billesden 
Coplow, 1800 1 


He succeeds Lord Foley at Quom in 1806, and hunts Leicester- 
shire until 1816. — ^Anecdotes of his Quom career, and of his 
associates. — Succeeds Mr. Osbaldeston in Lincolnshire, and keeps 
the Burton country until 1824. — Ceases to be master of hounds 
for tw6 years, during which he hunts at Belvoir and in the neigh- 
bouring countries. — Resides in 1826 at Penton Lodge, Andover, 
and creates a new hunting country in that region. — ^His marriage. 
— ^Takes possession of Tedworth on the death of his father. — 
Famous run over Salisbury Plain 28 


Stild at Ted Worth. — ^Mr. Smith's frequent falls ; his adroitness 
in encountering them. — Favourite hounds at different periods ; his 
powers of &scination over them. — His skill in managing refractory 
horses. — Lord George Bentinck 44 


Rebuilding of Tedworth ; Mr. Smith goes to reside there in 1830. 
— ^Description of his kennels and stables.— More favourite hounds. 
— ^The great annual meeting at Tedworth. — He represents Andover 
and Carnarvonshire in Parliament. — His corps of Yeomanry 
reviewed by the "Iron Duke." — Some account of Vaenol and 
Mr. Smith's estates in North Wales. — Slate quarries of Llanberris 60 




His I0T6 for Bcienoe and sbip-boildiog. — ^HebaildsseTeralaailmg 
and Bteam yachts. — Hia claim to be the practical originator of the 
''ware line" considered. — Goanter-claim set np by Mr. Scott 
BnsselL — Opinions of Mr. Bobert Napier and Sir Roderick Mnr- 
chison on the subject 92 


Grand meet at Rollestoo in 1840. — Mr. Smith bnilds the great 
conservatory at Tedworth. — ^Tries hydropathy. — Anecdote of the 
fox-hunter who tried it. — ^Worcester and Porthdynllaen Railway, 
— ^Mr. Smith fined for an assault. — He hunts the Tedworth hounds 
until a short period before his death. — His severe illness at Yaenol 
in 1856, and partial recovery. — ^Relapse and death in 1858 93 


His character. — ^Personal appearance and habits. — Impetuosity 
of temper. — His generous disposition. — Skill in games and sports. 
— Kindness to animals and liberality to his servants. — ^His strong 
sense of justice. — High character as a master of hounds, and as a 
daring horseman. — ^Testimony of his contemporaries 123 


Mr. Smith's favourite huntsmen and whips, IHck Burton, Tom 
Day, Tom Wingfield, and George Carter. — Carter's recollections 
of his master. — Mr. Femeley's picture of the Tedworth Hunt. — 
Beneficial influence of hunting on our national character. — Death 
of Mrs. Smith, and her disposal of the fiunily estates 162 


I. — ^Cricket matches 193 

IL — Nottingham elections, 1818 and 1820 199 

III.— Billesden Coplow Poem 201 

IV.— The Melton Hunt, 1813 , 207 

V. — Quorn in 1816 ; and fox-hunt at Leicester 211 

VI. — ^How to get a reluctant fox out of covert 212 



A Paintino bt Cooper Frontispiece. 

2.— Hall Table at Tedwobth House Page y'd 

3. — ^POBTBAIT OP " GaTMAN" 24 

4. — Pabt op Pbinoipal Entrance to Stables at Tedworth 61 

5. — Foxes' Heads on Kennel Door at Tedworth 63 

6. — Mr. Smith's Stbax Yaobt '' Sha-Sbrpent/' prom a 

Drawing in the Librart at Tedworth 129 

7.— Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq., on " Atston," with Dick 
Burton, his huntsman, and some pavourite Hounds, 
from the Painting bt Febnelet 173 

Oh I ye who knew his healthful day, 
And uw him make triumphant way 
0*er frownlnip fence, o'er hiil and dale, — 
Saw him the swollen brook assail, 
And with what ease he could efface 
The various obstacles of Chase, 
Say— Who could beat him in its race ? 

Anon, from the Sporting Magazine. 

Venatu invigHant pueri, sUvasque fatigant } 
Flectere Indus equos, et spicula tendere comu : 
At patiens opemm parvoqne assueta inventus, 
Ant rastris teiram domat, ant quatlt oppida hello : 
Canitiem galeft premimos ; nee tarda senectus 
Debilitat vires animi, mutatque vigorem. — Viro. JEn. ix. 






Nunc AtUetaram stndiis, nunc arsit eqnoram. — ^HoRAT. 

Most of the ingredients in national cliaracter are universal 
in tbeir characteristics, and belong to no particular time or 
place. The statesman, the orator, the poet, the warrior 
standing out in relief on the records of every country, give 
to those who come after them, throughout the universe, high 
aspirations for noble thoughts and noble deeds. On the 
other hand, all nations have some pursuits and some features 
peculiarly their own, strongly marking, out and distinguish- 
ing their inhabitants by an unmistakable individuality, and 
influencing them either for good or evil. It would be 
curious to examine how far the occupations of men tend to 
elevate or degrade their tone of thought or action. This 
was a science reduced to practice by the Spartans, among 
whom moral education was always closely blended with 



physical exercise. Their history proves that athletic sports 
may strongly iivflueooe the character of a nation. 

While the lovers of the chase require no social nor philo- 
sophical motives to bespeak their attention, this considera- 
tion may induce even those who are only familiar with fox- 
hunting by description to look with favour on the following 
memoir. The manly amusement of fox-hunting is entirely, 
and in its perfection, exclusively British. Its pursuit gives 
hardihood, and nerve, and intrepidity to our youth, while it 
confirms and prolongs the strength and vigour of our man- 
hood ; it is the best corrective to those habits of luxury and 
those concomitants of wealth which would otherwise render 
our aristocracy effeminate and degenerate ; it serves to retain 
the moral influence of the higher over the lower classes of 
society, and is one of the strongest preservatives of that 
national spirit by which we are led to cherish, above all 
things, a life of active energy, independence, and freedom. 
It might be added that, in a political point of view, its 
beneficial effects are not small as regards the employment 
of labour, the market of home-grown produce, and the 
maintenance of our superior breed of horses, most valuable 
for the purposes either of war or peace. 

Addison, who was a Secretary of State as well as a cele- 
brated essayist, thus advocates the healthful benefits of the 
chase when the Spectator pays a visit to Sir Boger do 
Coverley : " For my own part, I intend to hunt twice a 
week during my stay with Sir Boger ; and shall prescribe 
the moderate use of this exercise to all my country friends 
as the best kind of physic for mending a bad constitution 
and preserving a good one." 

The physician Galen also recommends hunting as one of 
the healthiest of diversions; and Cervantes^ in his ''Don 
Quixote," thus emphatically upholds the pursuit : "Hunting," 
said the Duke to Sancho Panza, '* is an image of war ; in it 
there are stratagems, artifices, and ambuscades, to overcome 
your enemy, without hazard to your person" (he is speaking 


of hunting a more dangeroiiB animal than reynard) ; ^ in it 
yon endure the extremities of heat and cold ; idleness and 
sleep are despised ; the natural rigour is confirmed, and the 
bodilj frame rendered aetire and supple, 

* Toil strings the nerves and purifies the blood ; ' 

in short, it is an exercise which may be enjoyed without 
prejudice to anybody, and with pleasure to many. There- 
fore, Sancho, when you are a governor exercise yourself in 
hunting, for assuredly you will find your account in it." 

The gentleman of whom we propose to give some anec- 
dotes was a model of the British fox-hunter. He was for 
exactly half a century a master and owner of hounds. Of 
iron nerve and constitution, he was, by universal acknow- 
ledgment, the best, as he was the foremost, rider of his 
day. We shall see, however, in the course of the following 
pages, that fox-hunting was not his only pursuit. As a 
most useful country gentleman, a good classical scholar, an 
excellent man of business, warmly devoted to science, and 
a generous distributor of his wealth, he turned to a good 
and useful account those mental, physical, and worldly 
advantages wherewith Providence had liberally endowed 

Thomas Assheton Smith was born in Queen Anne Street, 
Cavendish Square, London, on the 2nd of August, 1776. 
His grandfather, Thomas Assheton, Esq., of Ashley Hall« 
near Bowden, in Cheshire, had assumed the name of Smith 
on the death of an uncle, Captain William Smith, who died 
without issue. Captain Smith was a son of the Eight Hon. 
John Smith, Speaker of the House of Commons in the first 
two parliaments of Queen Anne, and who had been in the 
preceding reign Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Ashley 
Hall estate had come into the family by the marriage of 
Katharine, daughter and heiress of William Brereton, Esq., 
with Ealph Assheton, Esq., of Kirkby, near Leeds, second 
son of Sir Bichard Assheton, of Middleton in Lancashire. 



The estate was sold in 1846 by the subject of the present 
memoir to Mr. (now Lord) Egerton, of Tatton Park. 
Mr. Assheton Smith was also a descendant of the feudal 
lords of Assheton-under-Lyne, in Lancashire, described by 
Dr. Ormerod, of Sedbury Park, the historian of Cheshire, 
as "the knightly family of Assheton-under-Lyne," whose 
ancestor, Ormns Magnus, the Saxon Lord of Heletune, and 
founder of the Church of Ormskirk, married Aliz, daughter 
of Herveus, a Norman nobleman, grandfather of Theobald 
Walter, Lord of Amoundemess, and Chief Butler of Ire* 

Mr. Assheton Smith's mother was Elizabeth, daughter of 
Watkin Wynn, Esq., of Yoelas, North Wales. His father 
died at the &mily mansion of Tedworth, Hants, on the 
12th of May, 1828, aged seventy-six. The family consisted 
of eight children, three sons and five daughters. The eldest 
son died in early infancy. The third, William, a gallant 
officer in the Boyal Navy, and who distinguished himself 
by his good conduct as lieutenant of the Temeraire in the 
glorious battle of TrafEilgar, met a premature death by 
drowning, in the early part of the year 1806, in the heroic 
attempt to rescue some fellow-creatures from a similar fate. 

Thus the subject of our memoir, Thomas, the second son, 
alone survived to inherit the family estates. Of his five sisters 
three were married ; viz. Jane, who became Mrs. Satterley ; 
Elizabeth, who married Major William Buckler Astley ; and 
Emma, who became Mrs. Illingworth, and subsequently 
Mrs. Jervis. Two died unmarried ; viz. Fanny and Hiirriet. 
An only daughter of Major Astley married Captain IDuff, 
whose son, George William, inherits, by the will of the late 
Mrs. Assheton Smith, the landed property and slate-quar- 
ries in Caernarvonshire. 

Mr. Smith never alluded to the melancholy death of his 
brother William without evincing deep emotion. On his 
epitaph, in the church at Tedworth, we find this record of 
his act and life : — 


tEHo t^$ Mtntots 



SECOND {sttrviving) son or 

















ON THE 16th of JANUABT, 1806, 




Of the boyhood of Mr. Smith there exist but scanty re- 
cords. An anecdote, however, which he related of himself, 
at a late period of his life, shows that when quite a child he 
evinced that inflexible and stubborn resolution which was 
throughout life a ruling principle of his character. While 
walking in the shrubbery at Tedworth, with the friend who 
has kindly contributed many anecdotes to the present 
memoir, the more valuable because committed to memory 

*.The TSmiraire was in the hottest part of the action, and engaged 
with two French ships at the same time. 


and carefully cherished during a long and uninterrupted 
intimacy, he pointed out an old yew-tree which had wit- 
nessed the infliction of corporal chastisement on him by bis 
father for some fault of which he persisted in declaring be 
was innocent. .''It was under that tree," he said, ''that I 
then made a solemn tow never to do anjrthing from violence 
or compulsion, and on that principle I have always acted in 
after-life." I have reason to believe, adds his friend, tbat 
he observed this vow as religiously as did the youthful 
Hannibal the famous oath imposed upon him when only nine 
years old by his father Hamilcar. Acts of parental severity 
were, in conformity with the lesson he learnt on this naie- 
morable occasion, condemned by Mr. Smith, and his maxim 
was that kindness and reason will always effect more with 
children than the use of the birch. He occasionally adverted 
to the above circumstance in another way. There was a pic- 
ture of him over the anteroom at Tedworth, painted when he 
was about four years old. His white felt wide-awake is in one 
hand, the other resting on the back of a large greyhound, tbe 
only dog of that description Mr. Smith said he ever had. The 
countenance of the youngster rather shows that something 
has gone wrong with him. Mr. Smith's friends used jokingly 
to remark this to him, and he said that, just before this 
picture was taken, his father met his nurse and himself 
near the yew-tree before mentioned, when the nurse said, 
" I can do nothing with Master Smith, Sir ; he wiU do 
nothing he is told." His father without another word 
laid the child across his knee, and gave him a severe whip- 
ping. This, Mr. Smith remarked, appeared to bim so 
extremely unjust, — namely, to inflict punishment before bis 
parent heard what he had to say, that he from that bour 
determined never again to do what he was told under a 
threat of compulsion. 

The first accident which ever befell him was some time 
before the above flagellation, and almost in his earliest 
childhood. His mother found him lying on his nurse's lap. 


and looking like a tench just taken out of the water, in a 
gasping state. " What is the matter with the child ) ** she 
inquired "I^othing; he is doing nicely,** ^ replied the 
nurse. Upon examination, however, Mr& Smith found 
that he had succeeded in disgorging a large pin which he 
had swallowed, and which he was rnimching as boys do 
lolljpops. In 1783, when only seven years old, he was sent 
to Eton, at that time, as it is now, indeed, the best school 
in England for making a man at once a scholar and a gen- 
tleman. He was the youngest boy in the school when 
he went, and he continued there until 1794, a period 
of eleven years. It was here that he first acquired that 
ardent love for athletic exercises, for skill and pro- 
ficiency in which he was afterwards so eminently dis- 
tinguished He excelled especially in cricket, and his 
fondness for this noble game he long retained in after-life, 
as these pages will fully testify hereafter.* Boating was 
also one of his fistvourite diversions. His Eton career is, 
however, rendered most memorable by his famous battle 
with Jack Musters, still spoken of by Etonians as one of 
the most hard-fought and severe contests ever recorded in 
the annals of youthful pugilism. So equally were these 
young champions matched, that their protracted struggle 
ended in a drawn battle. They shook hands, and, to the 
credit of both be it recorded, the most perfect harmony and 
high feeling towards each other existed between them ever 
afterwards. Both were masters of hounds, and 1||bh were 
celebrated as first-rate horsemen as well as sportsmen.t 

♦ Vide Appendix, No. I. 

t Mr. Musters is well known to every reader of Lord Byron as the 
sncoessfnl rival of the poet for the hand of the beautiful Mary Chaworth, 
whom he married on the 17th of August, 1805. He was one year 
yoanger than Tom Smith when the remarkable encounter between 
them at Eton took place, their ages being respectiyely 17 and 18. The 
batUe lasted an hour and a half, and both were so punished at the close 
that in the last round they could not distinguish each other. Mr. 
Musters, on coming of age in 1798, had his own pack of hounds. 
It was said of him that he could ride, fence, figtit, play at tennis, swim 


Mr. Smith's skill in pugilistic encounters, and his de- 
termined courage in standing up, even against superior 
strength, served him in good stead on various occasions 
afterwards, especially when, as master of hounds, he came 
in contact with " roughs," who imagined they might bully 
him with impunity. Two or three anecdotes relating to 
this subject may well find a place here. 

Orator Hunt was a bold rider, and, like Mr. Smith, well 
able to use his fists. During the Oxford career of the latter, 
Mr. Warde's hounds were once drawing South Grove, when 
some remark of Mr. Hunt's provoked a sneer from Tom 
Smith. Fierce words ensued on both sides, and they were 
in the act of dismounting to settle it then and there, when 
fortunately a fox was hallooed away, an attraction which 
neither could resist. " I always regretted this interruption," 
said an eye-witness of the scene, ''for depend upon it 
this fight would have been well worth seeing, although 
Hunt had the advantage in weight and height ; but for all 
that," he added, " I would have backed the squire." 

Mr. Smith's father was once riding about his farm, when 
he heard the report of a gun. CrallopiDg up to the spot, to 
ascertain who was the trespasser, he found Orator Hunt, 
who had just shot a hare. ' While the latter and old 
Mr. Smith held no very friendly parley. Hunt's brother, 
who was deaf and dumb, came up and offered the old 
squire the hare. This was, in Mr. Smith's mind, an addi- 
tional iiAlt, and, not knowing that the man was dumb, 
he mistook his attempts to make himself understood for 
mockery, which he was about to resent, when his brother, 
seeing his mistake, observed sarcastically, ''Are you not 
ashamed thus to insult a deaf and dumb man?" This 
appeal to his feelings, which were always most sensitive, 

fihoot, and play at cricket with any man in Europe. In almost, if not 
all of these accomplishments, he would have found his match in the 
subject of our memoir. He died at Annesley Park, Notts, on Septem- 
ber the 8th, 1849. 


immediately cooled the old gentleman's ire; the trespass 
was at once forgotten, the amends made, and the squire and 
the dumb sportsman kept bowing to each for five minutes, 
like a couple of Chinese mandarins. The Orator, however, 
continued to shoot away as merrily as ever after Mr. Smith's 
departure, while the keepers did not dare to inform their 
master, ftr fear of a second explosion. 

When hunting in Lincolnshire, in 1818, Mr. Smith 
was solicited to stand for the borough of Nottingham ; 
an undertaking at that time as hazardous as for a Tory 
to stand for Westminster against such an idol as Sir 
F. Burdett then was. The very peril, however, was an in- 
ducement for Toin Smith to come forward ; and a recep- 
tion such as was to be expected awaited him. The town was 
placarded with "No Foxhunting MP.," and the electors 
carried their virulence so far as to dress up a guy with a 
red coat and a fox's brush appended to it, which they burnt 
in effigy before the hustings. Mr. Smith's appearance there 
was the signal for a most tremendous row ; and not a word 
of his speech, when he came forward to address them, would 
they hear. There, however, he remained, in defiance of 
their yells and hooting, till at last with a stentorian voice, 
heard above the uproar, he cried out, ** Gentlemen, as you 
refuse to hear the exposition of my political principles, at 
least be so kind as to listen to these few words. I will 
fight any man, little or big, directly I leave the hustings, 
and will have a round with him now for love." The 
effect of this wrgvnnardwm, ad hommes was electric. It had 
touched a sympathetic cord. Instead of yells and groans, there 
were rounds of cheers ; and from that hour to the end of the 
contest, in which, after a hard struggle, he was beaten,* not 
a single attempt at molestation was offered to him. 

On another occasion, when about to enter one of the 
banking-houses at Leicester, he hitched his horse's bridle 

* For farther detailB of the contest vide Appendix, No. II, 

10 BEHnnSCEVGBSy xcc 

over the iron rails in front of tbe bank. Wbile bis master 
was inside, the horse stood across tbe street. A coalheaver 
coming by with bis cart gave tbe nag a flanker with 
bis whip, which nearly sent him into the bank window. 
This brought out tbe squire. ^' Why did you strike my 
horse 9 " was tbe inquiry. ^ Because be was in my way,** 
was tbe reply. ** Defend yourself," was tbe rejoimier ; and 
tbe coalheaver doffed bis smock frock while the squire but- 
toned up bis coat and turned up his cuffiu At it they went 
with a hearty good will For the first time in his life Tom 
Smith found he had got his match and something more to 
contend with ; for the fellow stood six feet and weighed 
fourteen stone. Thei'e was no flinching on either side, and 
they followed one another up and down the street as closely 
as a loving couple in a country dance. The noise, however, 
soon brought the constables, and the combatants were sepa- 
rated amidst the cheering of the crowd. ** You will bear 
of me again," said tbe squire to bis resolute antagonist, as 
be mounted his horse and rode quietly away. So they 
parted, each having had apparently pretty well enough. 
Mr. Smith went out to dine with his friend Edge, to wbom^ 
although much punished, and it is reported with a bee&teak 
over his eye, he told the story with great relish. On the 
followilig morning tbe squire's groom was seen inquiring 
where the coalheaver lived. His residence having been 
pointed out, tbe man knocked at the do<M: for some time. 
At last it was opened by bis wife. ^ Does the man 
live here who fought tbe gentleman by the bank 9 " in- 
quired tbe servant. " He did live here, if he is still alive," 
replied the poor woman, ''after tbe terrible beating he 
got yesterday." Groans were beard from a bed on 
which the man was lying, having the fear of an arrest for 
striking a gentleman before bis eyes. '' Mr. Smith has sent 
me to give you this five-pound note, and to tell you, that 
you are the best man that ever stood before him." " God 
bless bis honour," ezcli^ed the fellow, jumping up from 

' UFB AT BlOir. 11 

tlie bed, for he was more frightened than hurt, and bein^ 
greatlj relieved by this unexpected and fortunate turn of 
events. Thank him a thousand times. I dearly amed the 
money, for his blows are like the kick of a horse ; but tell 
him for all that, to show my gratitude, I will light him 
again any day for love." This anecdote speaks well for 
both. It turned out on inquiry that this man was the 
champion of the surrounding country and the terror of 
the neighbourhood. Therefore we may hope that the 
bruising he met with from a gentleman, whom, doubtless, 
before the " mill," he held very cheap, did him good. Many 
years afterwards, when Mr. Smith was upwards of seventy 
years of age, he evinced the same^daring spirit. A rough 
country fellow threw a stone at one of his hounds, for 
which the squire struck at him with his hunting whip. 
" You dared not strike me if you were off your horse," said 
the clodhopper. In a moment the squire had dismounted 
and had raised his hands in artistic attitude, upon which 
the cowardly rascal fairly took to his heels and fled, amidst 
the jeers and ridicule of his companions. This scene occurred 
at Chapmansford, before a large field of sportsmen, who will 
well recollect the circumstance. 

To return to his early boyhood. He was fond of adding 
to the statement of his having been eleven years ai Eton, 
the remark, ''and while there I learnt nothing." Here, 
however, the squire did not do due justice to Etona Mater. 
No sharp-witted lad can pass through the wholesome disci- 
pline of a public school and pick up nothing. Even allow- 
ing that such a character as that of Mr. Smith would have 
distinguished itself under the application of any species of 
scholastic discipline, yet in his case the emulation, and high 
tone, and chivalrous feeling to be found in a public school, 
must have been eminently advantageous. 

Mr. Smith was always strongly in favour of the fagging 
system, as teaching boys to do many things useful to them 
in their future career, and giving ^hem an independence of 

13 BBiciinflOEVGxei^ kio. 

thought and action of the greatest servioe to them after- 
wards in their professional straggles. His maxim was, that 
if a boy were not well thrashed when he was young, he 
would most probably need it when he became a man ; and 
he ridiculed the idea» that because a youth had brushed 
clothes, or cooked a mutton-chop for his master at Eton or 
Winchester, his feelings or demeanour as a gentleman would 
be iujuriously influenced when he grew up. It is notorious 
that those who most cheerfully endured the hardships in 
the Crimea, and roughed it best, were public schoolmen. 
Even as regards scholarship, Mr. Smith could not have 
quitted Eton without benefit. Where otherwise did he 
acquire that taste for classical literature which characterized 
him through life 1 Where did he get his love for Horace, 
so as to be able to quote long passages with enthusiasm ? 
Horace and Pope were his favourite authors, and he knew 
the whole of the Epistle of Eloisa to Abelard by heart. He 
was also an enthusiastic admirer of Shakspeare, and fre- 
quently cited parts of his plays with great emphasis and 
feeling. The magnificent lines in Hamlet, where Polonius 
gives his parting advice to Laertes, beginning, " These few 
precepts in thy memory, look thou character," he often 
repeated with much force and vehemence of delivery, ''suiting 
the action to the word," and said they were the finest that 
ever were written. He laid particular stress on that passage : 

" This above all, to thine own self be true ; 
And it mnst follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man." 

In the sentiment here so nobly conveyed may be traced 
the mainspring of his conduct in after-life. There was, 
however, one part of Polonius' advice which the squire did 
not strictly follow out in his own person, nor exactly put 
faith in ; namely, on the subject of dress : 

** Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy. 
But not expressed in fancy ; rich, not gaudy, 
Por the apparel oft proclaims the man." 


He was neyer very studious of his personal appearance, 
except as to neatness in bis youthful days, although he 
looked thoroughly the gentleman. Until quite late in life 
he hardly ever wore a great coat. One of these lasted twelve 
years ; no small proof that its services had not very often 
been required. His friends persuaded him at length tp ex- 
change this for one made of the fashionable material of the 
present day, warm and woolly, but light ; this, however, he 
said did not suit a sportsman of the olden time, and he 
seldom donned it. except in the most inclement weather. 
He always maintained that the temperature of the body 
and an equal flow of animal spirits are better maintained by 
active movement than by additional clothing ; and as for 
physic, he " would not even throw it to the dogs ; " remem- 
bering the lines of Dryden : 

'•Better to hunt in fields for health unbought. 
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught." 

What, however, Mr. Smith did not learn at Eton was 
a/rithmeiic. This most useM science he acquired to great 
perfection during the time he was laid up at Melton Mow- 
bray, in consequence of a severe fall while hunting, when he 
broke his ankle. While limping about the town, and be- 
wailing the hard fate which kept him from the hounds, he 
happened to enter the post-ofiSice, and seeing the young 
woman who assisted in it, and who was very good-looking, 
casting up a bill rapidly, he said : " I wish you would teach 
me arithmetic." The bargain was soon struck, and with 
the help of his pretty instructress, by whose side he was as 
gentle as a lamb, added to Joyce's arithmetic, he completed 
his education in this branch of science in six weeks, and 
was ever after remarkable for his skill in figures and calcu- 
lations. Not only was this knowledge rendered available 
by him in acquiring practical knowledge of shipbuilding, 
but it served him also in the management of his estates, 
the accounts of which he always minutely inspected himselfl 


During biBaninud TiBit to Yaenol, in the autumn senon, lie 
scarcely erer nuaeed for a single day gmng down to the port 
and looking over the books in which were entered the 
transactions of his slate-qnarries. He always nsed to say 
that no gentleman could be much imposed upon who super- 
intended and looked into his ni&dn as doaely and regularly 
as he did 

In 1794 young Smith quitted his &Tonrite haunts at 
Eton to become a gentleman commoner at Christ Church, 
Oxford. Long before this period, howeyer, he had senred 
his youthful apprenticeship in the hunting-field : 

Pner Ascanins mediis in vallibiu acri 
Gaodet eqao ; jamqae hoB cuna, jam pneterit ffloB. — Yaa. 

His first rudiments in this noble sport had been acquired, 
when he was quite a child, with some rabbit ^beagles at 
Sedbury Hill; and he soon afterwards accompanied his 
Other's pack of foxhounds on a pony. These hounds for 
many years hunted alternately hares and bag-foxes, and 
showed some famous sport in both capacities. Even at this 
period his father was justly proud of his son's superior 
horsemanship, though the old gentleman confessed to a 
friend, from whom the following anecdote is derived, that 
he was not a little jealous of it. The fiither of Mr. 
Assheton Smith, relates our informant, stated that once 
at his club a party of sportsmen were speaking of the 
riding of Sir Henry Peyton and his son, and some one 
present remarked that no father and son could beat them ; 
upon which the old gentleman observed : " I will back a 
father and son against them for £600. When requested to 
name his couple, he replied : ''/ am one, and Tom Smith 
(as he invariably called his son) the other." Whereupon 
the bet was declined, with this handsome compliment, that 
'' the Tom Smith had long since been an exception in every 
match, his superior horsemanship being so generally acknow- 


And yet the late Sir Henry Peyton and bis son,* the 
present baronet, were incontestably first-rate riders as well 
as spoftsmezL 

Nimrod, speaking of the Peytons, places the &ther in the 
front rank, and after describing his good qualities, remarks 
that nothing more is wanting to complete the portrait of a 
perfect horseman ; while of the son, he says : "1 scarcely 
know in what terms to speak of him. Were I to declare 
that from all I have seen and all I have read of him 
he is the boldest and best horseman England ever pro- 
ddoed, I should be afraid of looking upon the wall and 
seeing Assheton Smith, John White, t and half a score more 
crack names staring me in the face, and ' Hold hard, Nim- 
rod,' in big letters. But, really, taking him over the 
country and over the course, he must be as near excel- 
lence as human ability and physical energies can place any 

On another occasion, although of course long subse- 
quently to his leaving Oxford, Mr. Smith's father said that 
he went on a visit to his son, then residing at Quorndon 
Hall and keeping the hounds ; Mr. Smith, sen., was 
mounted on a splendid horse belonging to his son, and they 
had a splendid burst over the cream of the country, With a 
whoop at the end. While Tom Smith was holding up the 
fox to throw into the hounds, Lord Alvanley observed, 
** How I wish your &ther had seen this finish." " Depend 
upon it he has," replied Tom Smith, without looking up ; 
''and I advanced," related the old squire, who told the 
ttnecdote himself, '* and made his lordship a low bow." 

^^Was your father a good rider?" asked a neighbour 

* A writer in the Sportmg Magazine, October, 1834, signing himself 
" A Bambler in Green," calls Mr. Peyton " the best horseman in 

i* " What a one Captain White's Merry Lad was for rails in a corner, 
he popped over for all the world like a deer ! "— vSi£2/b and Scarlet, 

t " Hunting Beminisceoces," p. 267. 

16 BxuunscBNCEs^ sra 

once of the son* '^ He was what was then considered saeh," 
was the reply ; " bat on a very different principle to what 
I have adopted, and simply this, — he clang on by his hands, 
and / by my legsJ^ ♦ 

The old man always spoke with gratitude and admi- 
ration of the extraordinary alacrity evinced by his son oa 
one occasion, when news was brought to him in the hunting- 
field that his father was dangerously ilL There were no 
railroads nor telegrams in those days ; but Tom Smith, 
simply by horae powers without changing his dress, and only 
stopping on the road to get a freah hack, taking the first 
that presented itself arrived at Tedworth almost as soon as 
they thought the intelligence had reached him, and at a most 
critical timie. Doctors were differing as to the expediency 
of bleeding the invalid, which Dr. Clinet recommended. 
Tom Smith at once decided with Cline ; and thus, in all 
human probability, saved his fitther's' life, for he rallied 
immediately after this course of treatment had been 
adopted j the coma from which he was suffering being the 
result, as Cline had suspected, of his having been upset in 
his phaeton at Yaenol some time previously.^ 

We have no very minute details of young Smith's career 
at the University, where he remained four years. He 
hunted regularly while at Christ Church ; and mostly with 
old John Warde's hounds in Oxfordshire and Northampton- 
shire. He also excelled as a batsman in the cricket-field on 
Cowley Marsh and Bullingdon, was a fearless swimmer, and 
could pull a sturdy oar upon the Isis. During the long 
vacation his father used to make up cricket-matches for him 
on Perriam Down, celebrated as the most agreeable meetings 

* This is what he always tenned his "gripe on a horse." 
t He weot round by London, whenoe his own chariot with four 
post-horses brought Dr. Cline down. 

t Before Dr. Cline arrived, the doctors who attended him, supposing 
he was suffering from debility, had ordered him nutritious food and 
stimulants ; but as there proved to be slight concussion of the brain, 
he was getting rapidly worse in consequence of this treatment. 


in Hants, for the hospitality of Tedworth was open to the 
players and their friends ; while the fair sex had their share 
of the day's amusement hy the festivities being closed with 
a dance. For the purposes of social enjoyment nothing can 
exceed a good cricket-match in the grounds of an English 
country gentleman, provided always the skies be auspicious. 
The sport has far more variety and excitement, and far less 
formality, than archery ; and if the ladies cannot have a 
share in the actual game, they have their interest in the 
contending sides, and there is always, or ought to be, an 
abundance of spectators to make the time pass agreeably. 
Another great advantage of cricket is, that the game can be 
participated in by all ranks of society ; by which means a 
healthy and kind feeling is kept up between the higher 
classes and those beneath them ; the peer and the peasant, 
by meeting together, learn to value and respect each other, 
without any inconvenience arising from £uniliarity on either 
side. This remark is applicable to fox-hunting, but in a 
minor degree, in consequence of the more expensive and 
therefore more exclusive character of the latter pursuit. 
On leaving Oxford, Tom Smith became a member of the 
Marylebone Club, and a regular attendant at Lord's.* 
In the appendix to this Memoir will be found some 

* The Marylebone cricket ground was opened in 1787> and called 
Lord's, after Mr. Thomas Lord, the lessee. The first match played on 
the "new ground," as it was termed, took place on the 2l8t, 22nd; and 
28rd June in that year, between five of the White Conduit Club, with 
six picked men, and eleven of All England. The game was won by the 
latter. The dub bad'' originally met in White Conduit Fields, but 
afterwards the cricket ground was on the present site of Dorset Square, 
where the above match took place. It was transferred to its present 
site in St. John's Wood about the year 1810. The late duke of Dorset 
was one of the oldest supporters of the game, but had nothing to do 
with Dorset Square. His grace had succeeded to his title when a boy 
at Harrow, and is said to have always had a double thrashing when 
punishment was awarded to him by his schoolfellows, — one for his 
offence, and the other because he was a duke. 


details of the most celebrated cricket matches in which he 
was engaged from 1802 to 1820. It appears that he played 
on the side of the gentlemen in the first match they 
ever undertook against the players of England. It is 
remarkable that the side on which he played was almost 
invariably successful ; and he may be said to haive been one 
of the best batsmen of his day. 

Mr. Smith's devotion to cricket, however, only served 
him for diversion during the summer months, while the 
hounds were idle. At the fall of the leaf he was promptly 
in the saddle again. He used to say, many years after- 
wards, that on the 1st of November his Hampshire wood- 
lands *^ stripped for business." He always loved to begin 
early, for he remarked that when foxes have been once 
rattled they are not so easily found by fox takers or keepers. 
Before he devoted' himself to fox-hunting he was a first-rate 
shot ; but in the latter part of his life he seldom handled a 
gun, though the extensive turnip-fields about Tedworth 
afforded excellent partridge shooting to his friends, and his 
keepers always turned out capital dogs. Mr. Smith used, 
while a youth, alwajrs to shoot the first week of a season at 
Sutton, a large farm belong^g to his father near Winchester 
race-course, which the old gentleman subsequently sold, as 
was said at the time, to pay for the Quom establishment. 
A circumstance that tells well for the seller ought not to be 
omitted. His man of business told him that a Mr. Meyler 
(whose property joined his, and who was afterwards killed 
by a fall from his horse in the New Forest) would give him 
a fancy price, considerably more than the estate was worth. 
To his honour, Mr. Smith, senior, desired the attorney to 
offer it to this person Jlrst, and at its market value. He, 
however, declined it, 'and it was bought by Mr. Wickham. 
'* His son was riding, the first time I ever saw him,** relates 
a friend who met him out with Mr. Warde's hounds at 
South Grove, about this period, *^ in a green coat, on Black 
Marquis, a famous and favourite horse of his father's^ and. 


as nsaal, alongside of the hoonds. Coming to a formidable 
ditch, the old horse, to his ridei^s great surprise, stopped 
short, when, withont taming him, he made him take the 
fence standing, observing : ' You and I will be soon better 
acquainted.' And so it proved, for Marquis refosed nothing 
else in the run." 

As early as the year 1800, when the subject of our 
memoir was only twenty-four years old, we find him sig- 
nalized in song, as a most successful and daring rider. In 
the celebrated run from Billesden Coplow, on the 24th 
February, in that year, when Mr. Meynell * hunted the 
Quorn country, four gentlemen only, with Jack Raven the 
huntsman, were up at the finish (when they changed foxes 
at Enderby), although the best horsemen of the day were 
out. There were several copies of verses written on the 
occasion, wUich quizzed many, and commended few. Those 
who love hunting, and can enjoy it, will not be displeased 
with a quotation from one of the songs. 

'* Two hours and a quarter, I think, was the time ; 
It was beautiful — gtetA, — indeed 'twas sublime : 
Kot Meynell himself, the king of all men. 
Ere saw such a chase, or will ere see again. 
Tom Smith in the contest maintained a good place ; 
Tho' not/r«^ up at last, made a fJEunous good race. 

* Mr. Meynell was considered the first fox-hunter of his day. He 
bought the mansion at Quomdon of Earl Ferrers, and, after a residence 
there of nearly fifty years, he disposed of it to the earl of Sefton in 
1800, upon the death of his eldest son, which took place May 17th in that 
year. Mr. Meynell died at Bradley, in Derbydiire, December, 1808, 
in his seventy-fourth year, universally lamented. He was the first who 
established order and discipline in the hunting-field, more by his good- 
humoured pleasantry than by the assumption or exercise of any authority 
over others. When two young and dashing riders had beaded the 
hounds, he remarked, '' the hounds were following the gentlemen, who 
had very kindly gone forward to see what the fox was about." His grand 
meet at Quomdon Hall, in 1791« given to the first nobility and gentiy 
of England, was second only to that given to Mr. Aasheton Smith at 



I'm rare he's no reason his hone to abuse, ' 

Yet I wish he'd persuade him to keep on his shoes r 
Yoa most jadge by the nags that were in »t the end. 
What riders to quiz, and what to commend." * 

The liand of our hero, so long afterwards renowned for 
its handling the slack rein like a skein of silk, most have 
served him well even at this period, in so tremendous a 
flight, and before a whole host of the best riders in Earope. 
A few years later, in a song on a chase run by the Duke of 
Batland's hounds, written by Lord Forester, Tom Smith is 
recorded as having been the only man who could stop the 
hounds when they were running head " over Belvoir*s sweet 
vale." Well, indeed, might it be remarked of him, " that 
amidst the multitude of Smiths, there was only one Asshe- 
ton Smith." 

Until Mr. Smith made his dehU as a master of fox hounds 
in Leicestershire, he continued to hunt in Oxfordshire and 
Northamptonshire. John Warde, the " father of fox- 
hunting," as he is styled by Nimrod, and " glorious John," 
by his brother sportsmen, hunted the Craven country at 
that time, and used to come up in March every year for two 
or three weeks to Weyhill, where the hounds had a tempo- 
rary kennel. , Until Mr. Smith, however, cleared the coun- 
try in 1828, after he came into possession of the Ted worth 
property, at the death of his fether, much sport was impos- 
sible. The riding of Dick Knight, huntsman to the 
Pytchley at the time Mr. Smith had the Quom, was of a 
character very similar to that of our squire. An annual 
visitor to Northamptonshire was in the habit of riding as 
close to Dick as he could, but was invariably beaten in a 
run. At the commencement of one season, the gentleman 
was on a new horse, a clipper. He said to Knight, " You 

* These verses are an extract from Mr. Bethel Cox's poem. The one 
best known and most celebrated was by the Rev. Robert Lowth, son of 
Dr. Lowth, formerly bishop of London. As it has become very scarce it 
has been thought worthy of insertion at full length in the Appendix! 



won't beat me to-day, Dick V* « Wotft I, gir* was the 
reply. *' tf you do, I'll give you the horse," said the gen* 
tleman. The one rode for the horse, the other for his 
honour. At last they came to an unjampable place, which 
oonld only be crossed by going between the twin stems of a 
tree, barely wide enough to admit a horse. At it went 
Dick, throwing his legs across his horse's withers, and got 
ihrougli. The horse was sent to him next morning. 

While Mr. Warde hunted the Craven country, Mr. Smith 
once went during a hard frost to see his celebrated pack* 
The ground was covered with snow and was as hard as cast 
iron, but at the pressing solicitation of Mr. Smith, the old 
Squire of Squerries* permitted Neverd, who then hunted 
his hounds, to take them to Winding Wood, a covert of 
Mr. Dundas's, just to Jmd a foXy but with positive orders 
not to let them leave covert. Tom Smith was riding Blue 
Ruin, a favourite hunter of Mr. Warde's (who also rode 
out), and as soon as they found their fox, he slipped a couple 
of guineas into the huntsman's hands and told him to hand 
over his horn. No sooner was this done than the fox broke 
covert, and away went Smith sailing by the side of the 
hounds. The scent, as is often the case in a frost, was 
breast high, and regardless of the state of the ground, the 
young squire, as usual, took every fence that presented itself 
After a very sharp run, the hounds swung back into the 
wood where they had found. Here the horsemen found old 
Warde in a towering passion, exclaiming that his hounds 
would be cut to pieces, and his favourite horse spoilt. " Only 
give me five minutes more and I will kill your fox," said 
Mr. Smith ; which being assented, or rather submitted, 
to, for denial was useless, was soon accomplished. Tom 
Smith brought out the brush, and presented it with this 
flattering speech : ^ Your hounds, sir, are the best I ever rode 
by the side ol^ and I will give you three hundred guineas 

* The family seat io Kent. 


for Blue Ruin." This pacified tbe placable old master, who 
often afterwards related the anecdote with no little zest. 
He, howeyer, refused to sell his fltyourite hnnter. Mr. Warde 
was a master of hounds for fifty-two years; he was twenty- 
two years in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, thirteen in 
Northamptonshire, six in the New Forest, and eleven in 
Berkshire. The famous Bob Forfeit was his huntsman in 
Oxfordshire. Mr. Smith had the highest opinion of his 
breed of hounds, and took some of them with him into 
Lincolushire. Mr. Warde's mastership of hounds exceeded 
in length of time that of Mr. Smith by the interval the 
latter hunted at Belvoir, after he left the Burton coun- 
try.* There was an excellent song written in 1823, when 
Mr. Warde hunted the Craven country, of which the fol- 
lowing is one of the stanzas : — 

** Here is health to John Warde, and success to his hounds: 

Tour Quomites may swish at the rasper so clever, 
And skim ridge and furrow, and charge an ox fence ; 

But will riding alone make a sportsman ? No, never ! 
So I think we'd just send them some tutors from hence. 

In the van place Charles Warde, Fulwer Fowle, you'll accord, 
With Yillebois f and Wroughton, might teach them the ground ; 

And if they'd be ruled, or deign to be schooled. 
They might yet take some hints from John Warde and his hounds." 

* Two years, viz. from 1824 to 1826 ; Mr. Smith was a master of 
hounds from 1806 to 1858, barring these two years. 

t " In a difiBcult bad-scenting plough, and wet woodland country, 
few men that ever I saw," writes one who often hunted with the Craven, 
" could hunt a fox better or ride closer to his hounds than old Ben Foot, 
huntsman to the late Mr. Yillebois, who formerly lived with Sir Thomas 
Mostyn. One day, when we were running a ringing fox with a flash- 
ing scent in Stipe, a well-known covert, just as Foot got his hounds 
well settled, a farmer hallooed a fresh fox at the other extremity of the 
covert. Upon this Foot stopped his horse, and fell a 'moralizing' thus : 
' How hignorant, sir, some folks be I Now can't he see that we be 
engaged to this fox ? ' " 




" Never did I hear 
Such gallant chiding ; for besides the groyea. 
The ikies, the fountains, every region near 
Seems all one mutual cry. I never heard 
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder." 

Midlawmmo' NighC9 Dream, 

Ik 1806 Mr. Smith left Northamptonshire, aod collecting a 
first-rate pack from diiferent kennels, the best portion 
having been purchased for 1,000 guineas of Mr. Musters, 
of Colwick HaUy on that gentleman's giving up the 
Nottinghamshire country, he succeeded Lord Foley at 
QuoriL * 

Here, with a fine stud and with splendid hounds, he kept 
the game alive for ten years, during which time the sport 
he showed was unrivalled. His feats of horsemanship, his 
excellent management of the hounds, and the fields he drew 
together, will live in Leicestershire as long as fox-hunting 
is dear to Englishmen as a national sport. It may be almost 
said, that, even at this remote distance of time, the wood- 
lands and open of that unrivalled country still echo with 
the music of his gallant pack. During his stay in Leices- 
tershire, Mr. Smith resided at Quomdon Hall, and had a no 

24 nxnismcmcts, sic. 

less celebrated sportsman than Mr. Thomas Edge, of Strel- 
ley Hall, Kottiughamshire, as his messmate for some time. 
It was said of Edge, although he weighed twenty stone in 
the saddle, that no man could beat him for twenty minutes. 
His brother John was no less &st after hounds. Tom 
Edge had three splendid horses, Banker, Gayman, and 
Eemus. For the first and third of these conjointly, Lord 
Middleton offered him two thousand two hundred guineas, 
which offer was refused, as was that of Mr. Oompton, who 
not only offered Mr. Edge 1,000 guineas for Gayman, but 
fifty pounds for one day's mount on him from a particular 
covert. Gayman carried his owner every Monday for nine 
seasons in succession. 

*' Mr. Edge and Mr. Smith were an uncommon silent 
pair. Mr. Edge (who was always styled Mr. Smith's ' better 
half,') seldom spoke unless Mr. Smith said something to 
him. Mr. Smith would never let him have more than 
a pint of port a day; he said he would get too fat. 
Mr. Edge used to pound away on that great big horse of 
his, Gayman : queer-looking creature it was, thin neck, 
large head, raw hips, and a rat-tail, for all the world like 
a great seventeen-hand dog-horse. " — {SUk cmd Sca/rlet, 
p. 61.) 

Gayman was bred by Mr. Moore, of Appleby, whose son 
Tom sold him, when six years old, to his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Edge, for 250 guineas. This horse used to be styled 
in the Qiiom Hunt, " the skeleton cart-horse ; " and his 
masters, " the Ajax " of the heavy weights. Tom Edge's 
weight, however, did not cause him to do like the heavy 
farmer in the story, who used to remain a quiet spectator 
on high ground while the hounds were running hard below. 
His ideas ran chiefly on the inconvenience of a heavy weight, 
especially as he was losing the sport in consequence of it ; 
and he used to exclaim, rubbing his hands, '* Bless me, how 
they are a physicking on him !" 

After giving up Leicestershire, where he was succeeded by 

w 5 

MB. smith's quobn makaoement. 25 

Mr. Osbaldeston, Mr. Smith took his stud in 1816 to 
lincoln to work the Burton Hunt. He held this capital 
country for eight years, until 1824, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Sir Eichard Sutton, and, after an interval of two 
years, during which he hunted chiefly at Belvoir, went into 

The celebrated Nimrod,* who was an eye-witness, thus 
testifies to Mr. Smith's management of the Quom :-^ 

"Lord Foley was succeeded in the possession of the 
Quom hounds by that most conspicuous sportsman of 
modem times, Thomas Assheton Smith, who kept them 
eight or nine seasons. As combining the character of a 
skilful sportsman with that of a desperate horseman, per- 
haps his parallel is not to be found ; and his name will be 
handed down to posterity as a specimen of enthusiastic zeal 
in one individual pursuit, very rarely equalled. Mr. Smith 
did not become a master of fox-hounds because it was the 
fashion to be a master of fox-hounds, neither did he go a 
hunting because others went a hunting, neither did he ride 
well up to his hounds one day and loiter a mile behind 
them the next. No : from the first day of the season to the 
last he was always the same man, the same desperate fellow 
over a country, and unquestionably possessing, on evert/ 
occasion and at every howr of the day^ the most bulldog-like 
nerve ever exhibited in the saddle. His motto was, < I'll 
be with my hounds ;' and all those who have seen him in 
the field must acknowledge he made no vain boast of his 

* Charles Apperley, author of ''The Northern*' and ''Grerman 
Tours" in the Sporting Magazine, Nimrod's popularity as a writer on 
sporting topics has never been equalled. When a ship once arrived at 
Calcutta from England, Colonel Nesbitt^^who then hunted the Calcutta 
hounds, hastened do^n to the beach and asked, *<What news?" 
"There are new ministers in," was the reply. ''Hang the new 
ministry," said the colonel ; "is Nimrod's Yorkshire Tour arrived V* 
" A man," says Nimrod, relating the anecdote himself, " must be dead 
to fame to be insensible to such a compliment as this." Mr. Apperley 
was the son of a clergymaa in Shropshire. 


prowess. His £sJls were ooantless ; and no wonder, for he 
rode at places which he knew no horse could leap oyer; 
bat his object was to get, one way or another, into the field 
with his hounds. As a horseman, however, he has ever 
been superexcellent. He sits in his saddle as if he were 
part of his horse, and his seat displays vast power over his 
frame. In addition to his power his hand is equal to 
Chifney's, and the advantage he experiences from it may be 
gleaned from the following expression. Being seen one day 
hunting his hounds on Radical, always a difficult, but at 
that time a more than commonly difficult, horse to ride, he 
was asked by a friend why he did not put a martingale on 
him, to give him more power over his mouth. His answer was 
cool and laconic : * Thank ye, but my left hand shall be my 
martingale.' Mr. Smith was the first gentleman who ful- 
filled the character of huntsman to his hounds in this far- 
famed country. In this occupation his desperate style of 
riding was of very material service to him, as he never had 
his eye ofi^ his hounds, unless when left behind by a fiJl, 
though he was quickly in his place again after that. The 
best of horses, Jack-o*-Lantern, Tom Thumb, Big Grey, and 
Gift, good as they were, would, however, sometimes stand still 
with him in a burst, and then he would be obliged to wait for 
a whipper-in to come up to take possession of his horse to 
proceed with; but this, of course, was not an every-day 
occurrence. As a huntsman, then, he may be said to be 
eminent in chase; decidedly so, because nothing stopped 
him in his casts ; and we know how many foxes are lost 
by an ugly fence being in the way at this critical time. 
Leicestershire is a country of all others in which wide 
and bold casts are successful"* — (ffimting ^emvniscenceg, 
p. 42.) 

Mr. Smith had the assistance, either as kennel huntsmen 

* An animated description, from the pen of Mr. Bmoe Campbell, of 
one of Mr. Smith's matchless hunting feats with the Quom hounds in 
1816 will be found in the Appendix, No. Y. 

HIS HxnrrsMEN and whippebs-in. 27 

or whippers-in, of some of the most skilful of their craft. 
Jack Shirley, who had been huntsman to Lord Sefbon, Dick 
Burton, Joe Harrison, and Tom Wingfield, all in turn were 
worthy of their new master. 

" Jack Shirley was one of Mr. Me3meirs whips ; he was 
an aufdacuma fellow, big and stout, with a rough voice. He 
was a great man with Mr. Smith and Sir Bichard Sutton in 
Lincolnshire."* He used to ride young horses for ten 
shillings the day when he whipped-in for Mr. Smith, and 
when he asked his master's permission, it was always 
granted with these words, "Provided they do not kick 
hounds." The squire was very angry with Jack on 
one occasion, for riding a young horse with a mar- 
tingale. Shirley was Mr. Smith's second whip in Leicester- 

Tom Wingfield was " good in his casts," and a huntsman 
after Beckford*s own heart. His son lived nineteen years 
with Mr. Drake. Tom had lived with Mr. Meynell as 
second whip, and he was head whip to Mr. Smith in 1807, 
when Dick Burton first came to him, then quite a lad. 
Joseph Harrison had hunted the hounds at Quom for Lord 
Foley until Mr. Smith purchased them. Tom Day came to 
him afterwards from Sir Gfeorge Sit well, who hunted Derby- 
shire and Yorkshire. 

" What a capital hand over the country," exclaims Nimrod, 
'' was Jack Shirley in those dayB, and what a capital anecdote 
did Mr. John Moore tell me of him from his own experience. 
He was riding Gadsby, a celebrated hunter of Mr. Smith's, 
but then a good deal the worse for wear, over one of the 
worst fields in all Leicestershire for a blown horse, between 
Tilton and Somerby, abounding with large ant-hills and 
deep holding furrows. The old horse, said my informant, 
was going along at a slapping pace, with his head quite 
loose, down hill at the time, whilst Jack was in the act of 

* Dick ChristiaD, in '< Silk and Scarlet," p. 20. 


putting a point of whipcord to his thong, having a large 
open ckup hni/e between kU teeth at the tim&" * 

The following quotation from the same high authority 
respecting another feature in Mr. Smith's mastership of the 
Quom will not be unacceptable. '* Every person who has 
been in Leicestershire knows the necessity of having good 
command over the field, a very serious and often hazardous 
duty devolving on the master of the pack. Here Mr. Smith 
was also successfuL He set out by declaring that he was 
not the best-tempered man in the world ; and he hoped, if 
at any time he said what might be deemed harsh to his 
brother-sportsmen, they would attribute it to his zeal to 
show sport, and not to an intention to give offence. We 
have the pleasure of stating then, that, with one or two 
exceptions, producing no serious results, he passed through 
his fiery ordeal, continued for the number of seasons I have 
mentioned, and quitted his proud station as master and 
huntsman of the Quorn hounds in (1816), esteemed as a 
sportsman and valued as a man. There may be some who 
may tell me his language was sometimes coarser than 
occasion could justify, and it is not for me to decide the 
point. All I will say is, his language was never that of a 
bully, for a braver man never stepped on the earth, nor (me 
who displayed in clearer colours the thorough courage of a 
true-bred Briton. Indeed, I may ask with the poet — 

' Is there the man into the lion's den 
Who dares intrude to snatch his young away t ' 

and answer, < Thomas Asshetou Smith is he 1 '" 

Kor was the renown thus acquired by this eminent fox- 
hunter obtained in an age of few first-rate riders^ or 

* " Hunting Beminiscences," p. 297. Jack Shirley accompanied his 
master into Lincolnshire. Mr. Smith used frequently to amuse his 
field, when the hounds were running ''slow," by calling up Jack, who 
was a great favourite, to hore a hole in an impenetrable bullfinch. 
Many a pint of blood did he lose in this sendee. 


among a scanty crop of illustrious sportsmen. These were 
the days of Meynell, Warde, Osbaldeston, the two Raw- 
linsons, one of whom afterwards took the name of lindow, 
John Modre, Tom Moore, Captain (since Sir David) Baird, 
Maxse,* Colonel Wyndham, Sir James Mu8grave,t the two 
Edges, Lord Kintore, Davy, Sir Henry Peyton, Sir Harry 
Goodricke, John White, John Cradock, Lord Eancliffe, 
Launcelot EoUeston, and last, though not least, that splendid 
rider, Valentine Maher.J With more than one of these 
names the record of some £buuoU8 run is associated. 
White, of whom the old song says, 

** White on the right, Sir, midst the first flight, Sir, 
Is quite out of sight. Sir, of tho^e in the rear," 

was the only man who stuck close to Mr. Smith on the 
Belvoir Day with the Duke of Rutland's hounds, when the 
fox led them nineteen miles point blank, and eveiy other 
rider was beaten off. 

Lindow was the owner of the celebrated Clipper, con- 
sidered " the best hunter in England ;" and it was on his 
back that he and Mr. Smith, who was mounted on Garry 
Owen, after a tremendous run with the Quom, found them- 
selves alone with the pack, while Tom Wingfield, the 
whipper-in, was visible at some distance alongside of them, 
flying down the wind to stop some earths which he knew 

* Mr. Smith always admired the riding of Mr. Maxse, who was one 
of the most forward of the heavy weights. Maxse had a &mous horse, 
Cognac, whom he hunted for nine suocessive seasons. His master was 
over sixteen stone. 

f Sir James Musgrave's horse. Baronet, was a mean-looking animal, 
with only one eye, but so capital a hunter, that it was said of him, that 
if titles could be conferred on the brute creation, this ''Baronet" would 
have been raised to the peerage. 

t Lord Alvanley betted Maher a hundred guineas that the latter 
could not jump a brook without disturbing the water ; and Maher made 
Lord Alvanley the same bet. Maher got over, but Lord Alvanley's 
horse threw some dirt back from the bank into the water, and it was 
given against him. Mr« Valentine Maher died in 1842. 


o£ Both horses at length fairly stopped, bat the Clipper 
held out the longer of the two. Lindow always stood up in 
his stirrups when the pace was most severe : this, accord- 
ing to Nimrod, although it has an awkward appearance, 
tends yery much to relieve the rider. **I have seen,** 
writes Dick Christian,* " those two Rawlinsons from 
Cheshire ride wonderfully in the vale. There was no beating 
them. It put Croosey (the Duke of Rutland's huntsman) 
quite out to see them going as they did." 

Sir Harry Goodricke had the Quom for two seasons, and 
was just entering on his third when he died, 21st September, 
1833, at Eavensdale Park, county of Louth, Ireland, of a 
cold caught whilst otter-hunting. He was then in his 
37th year. Sir Harry was perhaps the most popular master 
of hounds ever known in England. He received no sub- 
scription, and is said to have spent £18,000 in his two 
seasons, inclusive of the new kennels at Thrussington, on 
which he expended £6,000. He had two famous horses, 
the Old and the Toung Sheriff. He was painted by 
Femeley on the latter, with the hounds in full cry. Young 
Sheriff was bought in at TattersalFs for 400 guineas. The 
following are the chorus and one of the stanzas of the song 
written at Quom in 1831, to celebrate his taking the 
mastership of the hounds : 

" Then round with the bottle and let us not tarry, 
While we hail, while we honour, the man of our choice ; 
In a bumper come plecige us — ^The gallant Sir Hany, 
Whom we love in our hearts, as we hail with our voice. 

Other masters we've had in the days of our glory, 
Osbaldeston and Sefton, ToM Smith and the Grseme (Graham), 
Southampton the last, not the least in the story, 
Giving Melton its mainspring, and Leicestershire fune." 

Mr. Smith used to say that the two best runs he had in 

• "Silk and Scarlet," p. 50. 

MB. smith's FOSDYKE LEAP. 31 

Leioestersbire were — one of forty-seven minutes, from 
Coplow to Hallaton, and the other one hour and twenty- 
seven minutes, from Cream Crorse to Stockerston, the fox 
being killed on both occasions. 

His £eime and success in Lincolnshire were in no wise 
inferior to what had attended him at Quom. Many of the 
Melton men followed him, knowing that he was sure of 
good sport wherever he went ; but scarcely one of them 
was prepared for the formidable drains of dykes in the 
Burton Hunt, and their horses were unfit for the country. 
Shortly after their arrival there, they found a fox near the 
kennels, and he crossed a dyke called the Tilla. Tom 
Smith rode at it, and got in, but over, and was the only one 
who did. Fourteen of the Meltonians were floundering in 
the water at the same time, which so cooled their ardour, 
that they soon returned to Melton, dropping off one or two 
at a time, always excepting Sir H. Goodricke, Captain 
Baird — r one of the best riders of his day, — and one or 
two others. Mr. Smith once took a most extraor- 
dinary leap in Lincolnshire. The hounds came to a cut 
or navigable canal, called the Fosdyke, over which 
were two bridges, one a bridle bridge, the other used for 
carts,* running parallel to each other at a considerable dis- 
tance apart. At one end of these bridges there is usually a 
high gate leading into the field adjoiniug the canal, and 
along each side of them is a low rail, to protect persons 
going over. Smith rode along one of these bridges, and 
found the gate at the end locked, whereupon seeing the 
gate open at the end of the parallel bridge, he immediately 
put his horse at the rails, and jumped across and over the 
opposite rails, on to the other bridge, to the surprise and 
gratification of all who witnessed the feat. 

Sir William Miles, the present respected member for West 

* They cross the canal into the lands of dilSerent land-owners, which 
a66ount8 for their being so near each other. 


Somerfletshire, bunted with Mr. Asslietoii Smitli in Lincoln- 
ahire daring the seasons of 1818, 1819, and 1820. Althoagh 
the latter had at that time a liberal allowance from his father, 
yet as he hunted six days a week and received no subscrip- 
tion, he was obliged to be as economical as possible. His 
able management of both stables and kennels, which was 
even at that period universally known and acknowledged^ 
enabled him to make his income go as £str as most men could 
He rode at that time, according to Sir William Miles, as hard 
as he ever did, and many and heavy were the falls he got, 
as he was " never content unless first ;" and the country, 
then undrained, showed up his horses terribly. Mr. Smith 
purchased while at Lincoln John Warde*s hounds, — ^good 
noses, but " no pace," and when mixed with the old pack 
they tailed terribly ; " but nothing," adds Sir William, 
" with Tom Smith, that was his own, could be bad, however 
much the performance might militate against recognised 
rules." ** A good head of hounds " is a common expres- 
sion ; but running very hard one day, and Sir William, who 
was a bold and resolute rider„ being close to him, he ex- 
claimed, "Look, Billy, what a beautiful stream T Thus 
readily converting the ordinary phrase of " How they 
tail ! " into a more poetical equivalent. Mr. Smith 
hunted a dog and bitch pack in Lincolnshire ; the former 
showed most sport, the latter were faster, but wilfuL 
He took away the hounds from the Burton kennels, and 
built stables and kennels in a field which he had purchased 
at Lincoln, adjoining his dwelling-house. The kennel was 
abandoned by his successor. Sir Bichard Sutton, and the 
premises were bought by Mr. Charles Chaplin, who after- 
wards kept his horses there. 

Sir William Miles thus sums up his opinion of Mr. Smith : 
'* Nothing ever daunted him, and if hunting had not been 
his mania, he would, I think, have succeeded in anything 
he undertook." 

It was after his first season in Lincolnshire, that 


Mr. Smith brought the late Lord Raglan (then Lord 
EitzToy Somerset) from Ostend to England in his jacht, 
after the battle of Waterloo, where the gallant officer had 
lost his arm. It has been stated that, at an earlier period 
of the same year, he took the duke of Wellington over 
to Calais, and that he afterwards brought the first intelli- 
gence of the victory to England, but the truth of these 
statements he invariably disavowed The duke was always 
a warm personal friend of Mr. Smith ; he admired his 
manly straightforward beariug and good sense, and, as 
regarded his horsemanship, always said of him that he 
would have made one of the best cavalry officers in Europe. 
He was a frequent visitor at Tedworth, as Mr. Smith was 
at Strathfieldsaye, and his Grace was one of the most 
constant attendants at the meet of the Tedworth Hunt. 
The above remark by the duke calls to mind another 
saying respecting Mr. Smith, which was, that many of the 
most distinguished riders in the Peninsular war owed their 
horsemanship to his example. 

From 1826 till 1828, Mr. Smith established his quarters 
at Penton Lodge, near Andover. He had ceased to be a 
master of hounds after he gave up the Burton country in 
1824, but hunted regularly with the duke of Butland's, 
and other packs in the surrounding countries. At Penton 
he commenced operations with, a scratch -p&ck, which he 
soon got into good order ; but, until the death of his father, 
no very active steps were taken to bring the country into 
the condition in which it is now. 

On the 29th of October, 1827, Mr. Assheton Smith was 
united in marriage to Maria, second daughter of William 
Webber, Esq., of Binfield Lodge, Berks. He was then 
fifty-one years of age. In the following year, upon the 
death of his father, he removed his hunting establishment 
to Tedworth, and soon afterwards set about making very 
extensive alterations. The old house was pulled down and 
rebuilt^ Mr. Smith being in a great measure his own archi- 



tect. While the plans were being prepared hj the sarreyor 
whom he employed to carry out his designs, the professional 
adviser said it was not possible to retain the old dining- 
room as it stood ; bat Mr. Smith was firm, and said it most 
be done ; he drew a plan of his own, and accordingly it re- 
mains to commemorate the architectural skill of its late owner. 
But the chief improvement, which it is our business to 
narrate, was the metamorphosis of that formerly intractable 
woodland country about Tedworth into a fine fox-hunting 
district. The quick eye of Mr. Smith had long perceived 
the vacancy between the New Forest and the Craven coon- 
try,* and he now began to put his long-cherished designs 
into execution. Before his time, except during Warde*8 
solitary month, no hound had ever opened in those big 
chases, from year's end to year's end. During his residence 
at Penton, the country had not been preserved long enough 
always to insure a find, and the patience of the master had 
been often severely tried in drawing during a whole morn- 
ing. Occasionally a two-o'clock fox would give them a ride 
home by the light of the moon ; for, when he was found, he 
was very likely to be — 

*' A traveller, a stranger, stout, gallant, and shy. 
With his earths ten miles o£^ and those earths in his eye." 

A tale is still told with glee by the veterans of that 
sporting district, and listened to with instinctive dread by the 
cock-tails. It relates, that a " straight-necked wild'un," 
found at Doyly, ran to the other side of Newbury ; that he 
was lost at dusk in some old buildings ; that they left off 
twenty-two miles from home ; that the horses were all 
knocked up ; and that the squire borrowed a pony at the 
George Inn, at Hurstboume Tarrant (where he left his 
beaten nag), the owner of the animal at the same time 

♦ Mr. Warde being asked what were the boundaries of the Grayen 
country, replied, "It is a simple triangle, bounded by London, Oxford, 
and Bath." Bather a latitudinarian definition. 


giving him an admonition to take care that it did not 
kick him off. It was not much bigger than a large 
Newfoundland dog. The transition from two splendid 
horses and a capital hack in the morning, to the back of 
this diminutive sheltie in the afternoon, was somewhat 
ridiculous, but did not affect the squire's mode of riding 
for his masterly hand persuaded the little animal to cany 
him to his own door within the hour, the distance being a 
dozen miles, good measure. 

Nimrod graphically describes a great meet at Weyhill, in 
December, 1827, the year after Mr. Smith came to Penton. 
First, speaking of the country, he observes, " there is no- 
thing but beds of flints ;" and as for the Hampshire wood* 
lands, ** they are the worst country in the known world." 
George Gardener was at that time Mr. Smith's head whip- 
per-in. There were 300 horsemen in the field. He then 
goes on to say : ^' Not only was the appearance of the 
hounds, as hounds, splendid indeed, but their performance 
was equally good.* The scent was wretchedly bad, but they 
stooped to it like rabbit beagles ; and unfortunate as our 
day's sport in other respects was, any one would have had 
a treat in seeing this highly-bi*ed pack pick their way, as it 
were, inch by inch, over one stubble-field. I must own I 
was delighted, and I wish some huntsmen I could name 
had been present to take a lesson from their huntsman, Mr. 
Smith, whose patience and judgment were conspicuous on 
this trying occasion. I may say tr^/ing, because his fox was 
but just before him, and he had the eyes of a very large 
field upon him. But he never lifted his bounds a yard, 
though the line of country was apparently before him ; and 
thus did he hit off his fox, for he did not take that line." t 

Nimrod adds, respecting what he terms the foundation of 
an '^ independent dynasty " by Mr. Smith in Hants :•— 
^ When I first heard of his hunting the Andover country, 

* Mr. Smiib had Sir B. Sutton's pack this year. 

t Sfporting Magazine, December, 1827, p. 150. 



I set it down as a mere frolic of the day, never dreaming 
that he intended persevering in doing so. It now appears 
that he is in real earnest, and the gentlemen of his neigh- 
bourhood must be liighly pleased with the compliment he 
has paid them, in selecting so magnificent a pack of hounds 
to hunt their country." 

Mr, Smith once at Tedworth, a wondrous change came 
over the spirit of that region. No one but a man of the 
most iron will and undeviating purpose would ever have 
dreamed of converting the immense tracts of woodland, 
dense and ungovernable, which thirty years ago covered the 
face of what is now called the Tedworth country, into ride- 
able fox coverts. When Mr. Smith first proposed to the 
landed proprietors of the neighbourhood to hunt the coun- 
try, he received permission with a smile, accompanied with 
a caution, that he would find it impossible on account of the 
enormous size of the woods — several of them containing 
on an average more than a thousand acres each ; and also 
on account of the badness of the scent : two of the fox- 
hunter's greatest drawbacks. The gentry and farmers, 
however, soon finding the man they had to deal with, ren- 
dered him every assistance ; the former letting him their 
coverts at a reasonable rent, the latter preserving foxes, of 
which up to this time there had been a great scarcity, as if 
they were prize pigs. Under such good auspices, and with 
means and appliances to boot, Collingbourne, Doyley, Doles, 
Wherwell, and Faccombe, which had hitherto been without 
any straight rides, and consequently of little use compara- 
tively for hunting, were rendered " negotiable " in the hands 
of the squire, some at his own expense, the others by his 
infinence with the proprietors. The extent of wood levelled 
to the ground by his orders was almost miraculous, and the 
green rides opened, as if by magic, in those hitherto im- 
permeable fastnesses, will remain a lasting memorial of the 
good to be achieved by spending money for any. judicious 
purpose among the labouring classes. Andover at that 


time assumed the appearance of a manufjEtcturing town in 
miniature, or rather of a great timber mart. Numbers were 
employed in felling the magnificent sticks of oak and elm. 
Here might be seen knots of sturdy labourers grubbing up 
the stumps of trees which had stood in those forests for 
ages ; there a busy crowd piled up or carried away the un- 
derwood : the thick glades, which had till then never seen 
the light of day, now resounded with the axes of the wood- 
men and the crash of the falling timber ; while the aged 
and decrepit might be seen bending under the loads of 
faggots, freely given to them, to cheer hearths which had 
till the time of Mr. Smith but scantily felt the genial warmth 
of fire. Even in renting the rides, the squire proved himself 
a first-rate tenant, for both these and the adjoining fences 
were always kept in order, while the admission of air 
through the thick plantations tended greatly to promote the 
growth of the timber. By these means, woods which had 
hitherto been seldom approached by hounds, except to whip 
off, cheerily re-echoed the horn of the hunter. 

The only hounds Mr. Smith had of his original pack, at 
the time of his coming into Hants, were Bounty and Soly- 
man ; and the pack he collected was formed of drafts from 
at least a dozen different kennels. In the first season, 
owing to the scarcity of foxes, and the wildness of the 
pack, he killed only four and a half brace ot foxes. In the 
following year he purchased Sir Eichard Sutton's famous 
pack, and at the same time was presented by him with a 
capital hunter. Bob Boy, which Sir Eichard paid him the 
compliment of saying, ''perhaps he might ride, but no 
one down there could." In the squire's hands he was as 
quiet as a lamb, and soon verified the remark which old 
Jack Shirley (who rode him up) had made, " that he would 
be found a bad 'un to beat." An intimate friend of Mr. 
Smith relates that it was his good fortune to witness a 
verification of the above remark, at Burderop Park, in 
1827. Lord Kintore at that time hunted that country 


known to sportsmen as the Yale of White Horse, and on 
the day in question was mounted on his celebrated Apollo 
mare, with Provincial reserved as his second horse. The 
hounds went away at a racing pace towards Broad Hinton, 
and Mr. Smith on Bob Roy, though quite a stranger to the 
country, took his usual place, and cut out the work. His 
Lordship in vain tried to catch him, until a check occurred 
in a lane ; into this the peer jumped over a gate, and out 
of it over another. " When his Lordship wishes to hit off 
his fox, he must return into this lane," said Mr. Smith to 
the relator of the anecdote. Lord Kintore and Mr. Smith 
frequently spoke highly of each other's riding on this 
memorable day. Every one recollects the famous story 
of Lord Kintore comiug once to a '* stopper " in the Vale 
of White Horse, which defied the whole field. Seeing a 
countryman on the other side, " Catch my horse," exclaimed 
his Lordship, and drove at it. Both were thrown ; but the 
rustic did as he was told, and having picked up both the 
steed and his rider. Lord Kintore galloped away, leaving 
his Mends in mute astonishment on the wrong side of the 
fence. It must be recollected that Lord Kintore, on the 
above occasion at Burderop Park, had out his two best 
horses (Provincial was bought in at TattersalPs not long 
before for 400 guineas), whereas Mr. Smith was riding Sir 
Bichard Sutton*s gift horse, which no one else could ride. 

The horses he brought into Biants from Lincolnshire 
were— -Lovinski, Beiram, The Grey, Screwdriver, Young 
Jack-o'-Lantem,* and last, though not least, Ayston. Screw- 
driver was a fine dark chestnut, seventeen hands high : Mr. 
Smith got him a bargain, in consequence of his having 
come into Stamford six times without his rider. Screw- 
driver was not his original name, but the first time the 

* There were three members of the Laotem &mily all celebrated, — 
Old Jaok-o'-Lantem, Yonng Jaok-o'-Lantem, and Charlotte Lantern. 
Mr. Smith always said that Toung Jack was the best horse of the 


squire mounted him, as he showed signs of being unruly, 
one of his friends asked him what ^' acreu) " he had there. 
The end of the run, however, showed the " screw '* almost 
the only nag up, and from that day he went by the name of 
Screwdriver. Jack-o'-Lantem was a blood-looking bay, with 
crooked ^re legs, the son of a chestnut of that name ; he 
was an old horse when he came into Hants, and as perfect 
a hunter as man ever rode. '^ I remember," relates an eye- 
witness, "a tremendous day, early in the season, the weather 
hot and the ground deep, when, after two hours in South 
Grove, the fox went away to Milton Hill Here, for the first 
time in his life. Old, for he could no longer be called Young, 
Jack-o'-Lantem, stood still, and the squire said he would 
never ride him again, and he never did." 

The most extraordinary horse of all was Ayston, a yellow; 
bay, all over a hunter, and with excellent shoulders, but 
^ pigeonrinoQ^^ and so bad a back that he had to be led to 
covert ; " doubtless thoroughbred," as the squire used to say, 
*^ inasmuch as I bought him warranted not so." But, even 
with the above disqualifications, in a hard run with plenty 
of fences, and through dirt, the horse was never foaled that 
could beat him. His master would at no time have taken 
a thousand guineas for him. Femeley has faithfully repre- 
sented him in the fine sporting picture that still adorns the 
billiard-room at Tedworth, and in which the squire's seat on 
horseback is true to the life. He is surrounded by some of 
his fiivourite hounds — Watchman, Commodore, Romulua, 
Dimity, and othenL " On two occasions (out of many),** 
says a contemporary, *^ I can instance the superiority of this 
gallant horse. The squire had been riding him with a 
hanging fox around the deep rides at South Grove * all the 
morning, while all the field were standing still; at last 
they got away through the heavy days and perpetual 

* For a lingoliir devioe of Mr. Smith's to get relaotant foxes oat of 
ooverti tee Appendix, No. VI. 


ploughs towards Grafton. One of the q>ortBineD| Mr. 
Hawkins, viewed oar fox emerging from the Yale on to the 
grass downs towards Collingbonme Woods, some way ahead. 
Some of them cut across, and got on to these downs, and 
had a steady pull at their horses. Meanwhile the squire, as 
usual, was riding as honest as a schoolboy in the Vale with 
his hounds. Presently they came up with the horsemen on 
the turf, and old Ayston out down every nag among them 
in fair galloping across the downs, notwithstanding his 
previous episode in South Grove and the Vale." At 
another time this same gallant animal cleared the deer 
hurdles in Conholt Park, nearly six feet high, and pounded 

the field. Mr. F , who had ample opportunities of 

forming a judgment, says, ^he was, in my humble opinion, 
the very best hunter I ever saw ; ** and an old sportsman 
observed in his hearing, *^ that the man did not live who 
could make a fence sufficiently strong to stop Ayston, with 
the squire on his back, and with a fox sinking before his 
hounds.*' It was with Ayston, that the squire astonished 
the natives on his visit to Lord Moreton, when he took 
with him his capital huntsman and whipper4n, Dick 
Barton and Tom Day. Ayston tripped on one occasion 
when he was going to covert, and Mr. Philip Pierrepont, 
who was alongside of him, said to Mr. Smith, '* If I were 
you, Tom, I would ride that horse no more." " If I wcto 
going to ride for my life," was the answer, "I would ride 
him and no other." The village of Ayston, in Leicester- 
shire, fix)m which this fSeivourite hunter was called, is in the 
best hunting part of the country. 

Mr. Smith used to relate the following anecdote of the 
purchase of one of his best horses, but whose name, how- 
ever, is not recorded : — " When I had the hounds in 
Leicestershire, an Irishman rode up one morning to meet 
them on a splendid horse. I saw directly he could not 
ride ; and as one of my whips was on a slow one, but a 
capital fencer, I offered him the whip's horse to ride for the 


ran, and that I would get on his : I soon found I was on a 
first-rate one. He jumped the park wall where we found 
the fox, and carried me in splendid style. After a capital 
run no one was up with the hounds but Lord Jersey and 
mysell At last his horse declined, and I took the fox from 
the hounds about five hundred yards further on. On 
joining me his Lordship said, ^ You are on the best horse 
in the country.' I said, * Keep this to yourself for a few 
minutes.' The field came up, and with them the Irishman, 
who had been going in comfort on the good fencer. ' Do 
you like my horse well enough,' he said, ' to give the price 
you talked of in the morning ? ' (The sum was not openly 
named.) ' I do,' I replied, in a careless tone. Lord Jersey 
palled off his hat coram onmibiLS, and said, * Tom, I congra- 
tulate you ; you have the best animal in Leicestershire.' " 

Even the success whichMr. Smith experienced at Ted worth 
before his father's death, limited as it was when compared 
with the sport he created afterwards by the clearing of the 
woods, completely took the old gentleman by surprise. He 
had firmly entertained the idea, that to drive a fox out of 
the vast woods adjoining Ted worth was a feat beyond the 
power of man to accomplish ; and he was accordingly at 
first strongly opposed to his son's leaving the grass countries 
to establish a pack of hounds for the purpose of hunting 
the bleak downs and interminable copses of Wilts and 
Hanta For this reason, extraordinary as it may appear, 
he was the only landowner, when Tom Smith came, in 1826, 
to reside at Penton, who refused his son permission to draw 
his pet home covert, Ashdown Copse. " Where does Tom 
Smith meet next week ) " said he, one evening, to a neigh- 
bour, when dining with him at Ted worth. " I think," was 
his guest's reply, ^' that he will bring his hounds to Ash- 
down Copse on Monday." ^ Then, if he does," said the 
wrathful old squire, '^ I will bring an action against him, by 
Jove. And pray. Sir, what makes you smile, may I ask ) " 
he added, observing his friend slightly amused at the threat. 


" It IB no joke, I promise yon.** ** Exciue me, air * replied 
his guest, *' but I was thinking, if Tom Smith were oast for 
damages, who would have to pay the bilL" Shortly after 
this the prohibition was withdrawn. 

Mr. Assheton Smith's fiitber was remarkable, like his 
son, for inflexibility of purpose, but in him it bordered too 
closely upon a defect too often fl>und to be its concomitant, 
obstinacy. He always entertained a great objection to Mr. 
Telford's proposal to span over the Menai Straits by means 
of a suspension bridge, which he affirmed must necessarily 
interfere with the navigation ; and when serving on a com- 
mittee of the House of Commons, as member for Andover^ 
he found the feeling of his colleagues &vourable to the 
project, he threw his hat upon the floor, and vowed most 
solemnly, that even if the bridge were completed, he would 
never cross it as long as he lived. This vow he kept, always 
making use of a boat in order to reach the opposite shore. 
When George IV. returned from his visit to Ireland, he 
stayed at Flas Newydd, as the guest of the Marquess of 
Anglesea. On that occasion, Mr. Smith, sen., took the 
chair at a public meeting at Carnarvon, when it was deter- 
mined to present an address to the king, and a committee, 
comprising twelve of the leading gentlemen of the district, 
was appointed to convey it to Flas Newydd. In the course 
of the proceedings, a discussion took place as to the proper 
dress in which the committee should appear before royalty. 
While some proposed court dresses, and others uniforms^ 
the chairman, who had on a cutaway coat, with breeches 
and leather gaiters, said, that whatever others might do, he, 
at all events, should go before his Majesty in the dress he 
had on. No notice was then taken of what he said, but 
when the deputation met at Yaenol for the purpose of 
crossing to Flas Newydd (which they did in his boat), to the 
surprise of all, they found their chairman in exactly the 
same dress which he had worn at Caernarvon. When they 
were introduced to the king, Mr. Smith, as chairman, ad- 


vanced firsts when his Majesty, taking both his hands in his 
own, and without appearing even to notice his ancoortly 
appearance, accosted him with the greatest kindness, 
saying, ** Tour son Tom accompanied me in his yacht to 
and from Holyhead." Mr. Smith afterwards acknowledged 
that the kind manner of the king made him feel ashamed of 
himself, and fully sensible that he had been wrong. 

"The Christmas Foxhunter," writing in the Sporting 
Magazine, for March, 1835, gives an excellent description of 
a famous run which had taken place in the December pre- 
vious, from the osier beds at Amesbury to Salisbury Plain, a 
distance of sixteen miles, and had lasted an hour and fifteen 
minutes. The hounds had found their first fox among the 
osier beds, and he had given them a clipping run, but 
escaped by " speed and bottom." A second fox being found 
not far from the same spot, he crossed the Avon at Ames- 
bury, taking the river like an otter, and shaking his brush 
to the wind, made for Salisbury Plain. The horsemen were 
obliged to go half a mile back to a bridge, as the river was 
nowhere practicable, while the fox was visible before them, 
two miles ahead. Thus, many were altogether thrown out. 
The ground was very dry, and the hill from Amesbury, with 
the killing pace the hounds were going, tried those who got 
away severely. Mr. Smith rode Golden Pippin, and was 
first in sight of the Plain ; as he passed Stonehenge, the 
animal was half inclined to stop and contemplate the 
architectural beauties of that wondrous pile, but his accom- 
plished rider persuaded him otherwise. Many horses de- 
clined here, and it was at this place that one of the sports- 
men met with a severe fall. Having passed Stonehenge, 
the hounds being in full cry, heads up and stems down, 
Gay Lass leading, and Barmaid and Dairymaid close to her 
haunches, the fox passed through the village of Barwick 
to Wishford, took the river Willy, and ran up the hill to 
Grovelly Copse, where they killed him. The run was over 
the lightest and most picturesque part' of the country. 




Gaudet equis, canibusque, et aprici gramine campl — Hobat. 

Mb. Smith's stud at Tedworth was in general far superior 
to what it bad been at any previous time. While in Lei- 
cestershire and Lincolnshire he bad not been in the habit 
of giving high prices, and used to saj that, till he came into 
Hants, he rarely gave above £50 for a horse. He did, how- 
ever, now and then exceed this limit, and bas been known, 
at that period, to have given as much as 200 guineas for 
a horse ; but, whatever prices he paid, he contrived to find 
or make first-rate hunters. It is not often that racers 
make hunters, but Mr. Smith bought Shacabac out of 
Mr. Lechmere Charlton's stables, and made a very good 
one of him. 

Early in life he hunted regularly with Lord Sefibon, who 
succeeded the famous Meynell in Leicestershire. Lord 
Sefton's huntsman was Stephen Goodall, who, though an 
excellent sportsman, was incapacitated by his weight from 
living with his hounds when running hard. " I always like, 
Mr. Tom Smith," said Groodall to him, " to see you out on a 
gret/ ha9*8e, for then I know where the hounds are, and the 
shortest way to get to them ; and am satisfied, when ^ou 

MR. Davy's opinion of ur. smith. 45 

are there, I shall not be missed.** Stephen had a great objec- 
tion to being weighed, but Mr. Harrison got him* once into a 
patent weighing-chair, without his being aware of it, and 
saw the finger pointing over nineteen on the dial. In the 
£sLmoas Billesden Coplow run, above mentioned, Mr. Smith 
was allowed to have the best of it down to the brook at 
Enderby, where his horse fell in. He told a friend that he 
bought the horse he that day rode, called Furze-cutter, for 
£26, and sold him after the run to Lord Olonbrock for 
£400 ; *' a pretty good comment," he remarked, " on the 
place I maintained on that day." 

It may not be inappropriate here to record the following 
anecdote, related by a Mr. Davy, whose prowess has been 
recorded by Nimrod, and of whom Mr. Smith said, **he 
was the only man of whose riding I was ever jealous."* A 
large field were assembled at Ashby Pastures, and a fox 
went away with the pack close at his brush. A long green 
drove ran parallel with the fields, down which all the 
horsemen rode save one, A high blackthorn hedge screened 
the hounds from their view, and they were riding for hard 
life. All at once some horse was heard on the same side as 
the hounds, rattling over the gates, and crashing through 
the bullfinchers at such a pace, that Davy and another 
remarked, *'Some fellow's horse has purled him and run 
away." The illusion, however, was soon dispelled by the 
hounds swinging across the drove, and Tom Smith, on 
Jack-o'Lantern, sailing by their side ; having beaten every 
man among them, though they had only to gallop over 
plain grass, while he had to encounter both gates and 
fences, and of the stifiest character. This, Davy confessed, 
was one of the greatest triumphs in horsemanship he had 
ever witnessed. He also mentioned, that on another occa- 
sion, after a very sharp run late in the season, the hounds 

* " Mr. Davy's hand on a horse was proverbial," says old Harkaway 
in the Sportmg Magazine for August, 1884 ; ** like Paganini, he could 
play on four strings or one.'* 


were ranning into their fox in an orchard on the top of a 
hill at Eoll^ston (Mr. Greene's). Up the hill, in his usual 
place, rode the squire, when some very formidable posts 
and rails met him, which Jaok-o'-Lantem got over without 
a fall by breaking the top rail '^ You may guess what sort 
of fence it was," said Davy, ^* when I tell you not a man 
would face it even then." 

" Nothing ever turned Mr. Smith. K you had come near 
the Coplow, I would have shown you that big ravine he 
jumped ; twelve feet perpendicular, blame me, if it isn't, 
and twenty-oDe across ; it has been nearly the same these 
forty years. They had brought their fox nearly a mile and 
a half from the Coplow, and he went to ground in the 
very next field. He was riding Guildford, a very hard 
puller, and go he would. The biggest fence he ever 
jumped in Leicestershire was a bullock fence and hedge 
with ditch and back rails, near BoUeston; he was on 
Jack-o'-Lantem." * 

Besides Jack-o*-Lantem, the squire had at that time 
some other capital horses, and among them Filch, Gadsby, 
and Gift The last-named was, in fact, a gift from Long 
Wellesley, who said that no man could see a run on him. 
**He only wants a rider," said Tom Smith. "Will you 
ride him, then, at Glen Cross?" rejoined Long Wellesley. 
" Willingly," exclaimed the squire ; and, as usual, picked 
up the fox, after getting eight falls over gates, when Long 
Wellesley begged his acceptance of him. 

The history of the education of Jack-o'-Lantem was thus 
related by Tom Edge, an intimate friend of the squire, sCnd 
for many years, as has been already mentioned, his mess* 
mate at Quorn : ^ We were riding to covert through a line 
of bridle gates, when we came to a new double oaken post 
and rail fence. ' This is just the place to make my colt a 
good timber jumper,' said the squire, ' so you shut the gate, 

* Diok ChristiaD, in */ Silk and Scarlet," p. 57. 

jack-o'-lantern and screwdbiveb. 47 

and ride away tost &om the fence.' This was accordingly 
done, when the sqaire rode at the rails, which Jack taking 
with his breast, gave both himself and his rider such a fall, 
that their respective heads were looking towards the fence 
they had ridden at. Up rose both at the same time, as if 
nothing very particular had happened. 'Now,' said Tom 
Smith, ' this will be the making of the horse ; just do as 
you did before, and ride away.' Edge did so, and Jack 
flew the rails without touching, and was a first-rate timber 
fencer from that day. What made this feat the more 
remarkable was, that it did not come off in a run, but in 
what is called * cold blood.' " 

Jack-o'-Lantem was a particularly gentle and good- 
tempered horse. When Mr. Lindow had broken his collar- 
bone, and was quite unable to hold the Clipper even with 
" the clipper-bit," Mr. Smith changed horses with him for 
the day. The meet was at Scoling's Gorse, near Melton, 
which has long since fallen under the plough. Mr. Lindow 
rode Jack with one arm in a sling, and the Clipper was 
brought out with bit-checks, some eight inches long, and 
the huge attendant curb chain. Every one thought 
Mr. Smith bewitched, because he would not mount until 
the curb chain was taken off, and after pledging themselves 
that he would never be able to pull him up tiU he reached 
the sea coast, they heard early in the afternoon, that 
^' Mr. Smith had run away with the Clipper, and that he 
could never go £iist enough for him any one part of the 

Screwdriver, who has been already mentioned, once 
fiurly dislodged the squire into the middle of a gorse cover. 
He was finding his fox in some very high gorse, near 
Conholt Park, and was sitting loosely on. Screwdriver — 
who, by the way, even after Mr. Smith took to him, always 
retained his untamable temper — ^when the wilful animal 

* <<Silk and Scarlet,*' p. 295. 


started aside, kicked violentlj, and flung him over bis head. 
Nothing, owing to the height of the gorse, conld be seen of 
the squire, but Screwdriver kept kicking and plunging in a 
circle round him. ^* Let go the bridle, or he will be the 
death of you," said a nervous well-meaning farmer. " He 
shall kick my brains out first," was the reply of the still 
prostrate sportsman, who was soon up and righted in the 
saddle.* Although his falls were numerous, owing to his 
never allowing his hounds to get away from him, yet he 
was very seldom seriously hurt. Only on two occasions 
had he a bone broken : once at Melton, when he consoled 
himself by learning arithmetic from the pretty damsel at 
the post office ; and afterwards when one of his ribs was 
fractured, owing, as he said, to his having his knife in a 

His presence of mind, when falling, never deserted him j 
he always contrived to fall clear of his horse, and .n&oer to 
let him go. The bridle-rein, which fell as lightly as breeze 
of zephyr on his horse's neck, was then held as in a vice. 
In some instances, with horses whom he knew well, he 
would ride for a fall, where he knew it was not possible for 
him to clear a fence. With Jack-o'-Lantem he was often 
known to venture on this experiment, and he frequently 
said there was not a field in Leicestershire in which he 
had not had a fall. '* I never see you in the Harborough 
country," he observed to a gentleman who occasionally 
hunted with the Quorn. " I don't much like your Har- 
borough country," replied the other, ''the fences are so 
large." " Oh ! " observed Mr. Smith, " there is no place 
you cannot get over with a falL"t To a young supporter 
of his pack^ who was constantly falling and hurting himself, 

* " Nothing is so low,'* said Mr. Smith, "as moving about after a 
fall, and calling out, ' Catoh my horse ; pray, catch my horse ' ' " Hit 
own plan was never to let go of the bridle under any circumstanoes. 

f Mr. Stanhope, who hunted with Sir Bellingham Graham in Leices- 
tershire in 188S, rivalled Mr. Smith in the number of his falls. 

MB. smith's falls. 49 

lie said, ''AH who profess to ride should know how to 


" Mr. Smith got many falls. He always seemed to ride 
loose, quite by balance, not sticking with his knees very 
much. He always went slant- ways at his jumps ; it is a 
capital plan. The horse gets his measure better — he can 
give himself more room : if you put his head straight, it is 
measured for him ; if you put him slantish, he measures it 
for himself; you always see Mr. Greene ride at fences that 
way. He was first coming out when Mr. Smith was 
master, and he put him up to many a clever thing in 
riding. He had another dodge when he rode at timber ; he 
always went slap at the post ; he said it made the horse 
fancy he had more to do, and put more power on."* 

"No man," writes Nimrod in 1841, "knows so well as 
Mr. Smith does how to faUf which accounts for the trifling 
injuries he has sustained ; and I once saw an instance of his 
skill in this act of self-preservation. He stuck fast in a 
bullfinch, on his tall grey horse, his hinder legs being 
entangled in the growers, and there was every appearance 
of the horse falling on his head into a deep ditch below 
him. A less cool man than Mr. Smith might have thrown 
himself from the saddle, in which case, had the growers 
given way at the moment, for the animal appeared sus- 
pended by them, his horse might have fallen upon him ere 
he could have got out of his way. Mr. Smith, however, sat 
quiet, and by that means the well-practised hunter got his 
legs free, and landed himself in the field without further 
difficulty. At one time it appeared to me as if nothing 
could prevent both falling headlong into the ditch." f 

An instance of one of his diagonal leaps is thus re- 
corded : — The hounds coming in the course of a run to an 
immensely high and steep bank, with a stile on the top of 

♦ "Silk and Scarlet,'* p. 67. 
t ** Hunting Keuiiniscences," p. 297 


it, many gentlemen did not like its looks. Mr. Smith, 
throwing his whip into his left hand, and at the same 
time taking out his pocket-handkerchief (this was done hy 
way of giving the thing an air of negligence), said, '' So 
you won't have it, gentlemen )** Then taking the fence 
diagonally, he, by his peculiarly light hand, made his horse 
leap in this way, first on the bank, then over the stile and 
down on the other side. Nobody else could take the fence 
in the same manner, or would attempt it in any other. 

In later years, as his income increased, price was no 
object to him in the purchase of his horses. Among those 
for which he gave large sums were Election, Netheravon, 
Fire*king, Black Diamond, Ham Ashley, and King Dan, 
who will live long in the memory of those who witnessed 
their symmetry and prowess. He gave Lord Bosslyn four 
hundred guineas for Kory O'More, one of the best animals 
he ever possessed. Fire-king also well repaid his price, 
whom the members of the Tedworth Hunt will long re- 
member as willing to run away with everybody, and able to 
do so even with the squire. 

^* Perhaps the most remarkable Irish hunter of the 
present century was Mr. Assheton Smith's Fire-king — a 
sixteen-hand, very large-limbed, light-fleshed, and deep- 
girthed thorough-bred chestnut. He was bought by 
Mr. William Denham of Kegworth, from Mr. Bobert 
Lucas of Liverpool, in January, 1840, for £5 only, and 
was just as unmanageable a savage as ever wore a bridle. 
However, Mr. Denham contrived to beat all Derbyshire 
on him, both with fox-hounds and Lord Chesterfield's 
stag-hounds ; Will Derry, who was riding one of his lord- 
ship's thorough-bred 300-guinea chestnuts, frankly acknow- 
ledging on one occasion, that he could not live with him 
any part of the run. He also distinguished himself in 
Leicestershire in two runs, one from Cream Grorse, and 
the other from Sir H. Goodricke's Gorse. Next day 
Mr. Assheton Smith rode up to Mr. Denham, at Croxton 


Park races, and made him an offer of £200 for him, which 
his owner declined, unless Mr. Smith would make it 
guineas. On this the latter jocularly remarked, that he 
was the most independent horse-dealer he had ever met with; 
and was told, in rejoinder, that had he been independent, he 
would not have taken 2,000 guineas for the horse, as he 
was sure that no man could expect to have more than one 
such in his life. He was very much blemished at the 
time, so much so, in fact, that Mr. Smith could hardly 
credit the assurance that he was sound, after having been 
* repaired so often.' At this juncture Lord Chesterfield 
rode up, and Mr. Smith, on hearing his lordship indorse 
Mr. Denham's statement, that he had never in his life 
seen a horse that could go better, if so well, to hounds, 
closed the bargain for guineas. At first they had rather 
a weary time with him at Tedworth. Mr. Smith sent 
him home on hunting days seven or eight times before 
he could ride him with confidence ; and there is a legend, 
that he not only ran clean away four miles with George 
Carter, but that the letter assured his master, when he 
proposed another mount, that he would rather run on foot 
than get on him. His master, however, charmed the 
chestnut into a softer mood at last. On 15th December 
in the following year (1841), he wrote to Mr. Denham, to 
say that he had got him to go 'as quiet as any horse in his 
stable !' adding, 'I have hunted a great number of years, 
I have kept hounds and hunted them for thirty-eiglit years, 
and I am quite sure I never had such a horse as he is 
before, and fully believe I never saw such a one.' " * 

Nor was Mr. Smith in any way sparing of expense in 
securing the very best blood for his pack. In addition to 
Sir K. Sutton's hounds, he bought those belonging to Sir 
Thomas Boughey, and, later, the pack of the Duke of 
Grafton. In particular he prized most highly the stock of 

• "The Post and the Paddock," pp. 260, 261. 

62 KEiiiiascENCES, Era 

Mr. Warde, and, as a proof of this, on one occasion lie 
deputed Mr. F to offer Mr. Horlock, who had pur- 
chased Mr. Warde's pack for £2,000, 1,000 guineas for 
twenty couples, which Mr. Smith was to pick out from 
the kennel, without any other aid to guide him than his 
own well-practised eye, in making the selection. 

One of the most surprising, and at the same time inter- 
esting, scenes to witness was the ** fascination '* he seemed 
to possess over hounds, and the strong attachment they 
always evinced towards their master. " I recollect," relates 
one of his friends, "his once having out five couples of 
drafts whom he had never seen before. Sharp, his kennel 
huntsman at that time, gave him their names written 
down; he then called each hound separately, and after 
giving him a piece of bread, returned the list to the hunts- 
man, saying, */ know them now;* and so they did him." 
On other occasions when the fixture was " Oare Hill," and 
the hounds were awaiting his arrival, Dick Burton used to 
say, "Master is coming I perceive by the hounds;" and 
this, too, long before he made his. appearance. When he 
came within three hundred yards, no huntsman or whip in 
the world could have stopped the pack from bounding to 
meet him. In the momiug when let loose from the kennel, 
they would rush to his study window or to the hall door, 
and stand there till he came out. 

But we must not omit to make particular mention here 
of some of his especial favourites in the kennel at different 

Conspicuous among these stands Solyman, a very fine 
and large grey hound ; indeed, Nimrod says he was the 
largest ever bred in England, standing twenty-seven inches 
high, and with bone equal to many ponies. Mr. Smith 
was fond of remarking that he would as soon take this 
hound's word about a fox as any man's in England. This 
saying is like what Mr. Osbaldeston said of his horse 
Vaulter, that he never told a lie in his life. Solyman had, 


however, his peculiar days (like other dogs), and sometimes 
would do very little. Another great favourite was Van- 
quisher, from Sir K Sutton's kennel, a beautiful hound, who 
always kept close to his master's horse, never drawing before 
the fox was found, and then continuing close to the fox 
till he was killed. Next comes Trimmer, a grey fine-shaped 
hound, also from the same kennel. This hound, he used 
to say, was the most perfect and complete in all his good 
qualities, such as finding, hunting, and chasing, of any 
hound he ever rode after. Trimbush was another especial 
favourite ; and Nigel, not unlike in size and colour (black- 
pied^ to Trimbush, was equally valued. Nigel always 
showed the greatest animation, even when very old, directly 
a fox was afoot. He seemed to undergo a sudden meta- 
moi'phosis at once from age to youth, and became full of life 
and spirit. Eifleman was also the double favourite both of 
the master and mistress, and had almost the privileges of 
a parlour boarder. 

Towards the end of the squire's hunting career. Commoner, 
Conqueror, Flamer, and Lexicon invariably went out when- 
ever he joined the field. He said it cheered him to see 
their old honest faces, although their day for affording sport 
was over. There is always, he said, a gravity and impor- 
tance of demeanour in the countenance of a good hound, as 
if he knew his superiority over the rest of the canine species. 
He was very careful in not speaking to them when they 
were at fault, so as to draw their attention off their work, 
for, like Beckford, he could then see an expression of 
rebuke in their faces, as much as to say, ** What do you 
want ? let me alone." One of the old hounds still remains 
(1860), the patriarch of the pack, and as finely shaped a fox- 
hound and as good a one as ever man rode after. This 
is old Nelson, well worthy of the name he bears. On the 
first day he came, he singled out Mr. Smith, attached him- 
self to him, and ever afterwards was the first to salute him 
when he entered the field. He had belonged to the Duke of 


Rutland, and was of the same size as many of the best hounds 
in the pack; in fact, a perfect model for a foxhound, 
answering in every way to Mr. Meynell's well-known de- 
scription — " short back, open bosom, straight legs, and com- 
pact feet;" and to that by Beckford, equally familiar to 
sportsmen, " Let his legs be straight as arrows, his feet 
round and not too large, his chest deep and bsusk broad, 
his head small, his neck thin, his tail thick and bushy ; 
if he carries it well, so much the better."* Yet notwith- 
standing Beckford, than whom there cannot be better autho- 
rity, for his work may be said to be the fox-hunter's text- 
book, speaks of a thin neck as recommending a hound, 
Mr, Smith used to like " throaty hounds," for he said " that 
by getting rid of the throat, the nose goes along with it, for 
a throaty hound has invariably a good nose." 

It may not be out of place here to describe the animated 
and interesting scene which invariably occurred when the 
squire joined his hounds at the meet. Directly he appeared, 
every hound rushed towards him, and if ever there was a 
hea/rPy welcome given to man by '^ dumb animals," theirs was 
that welcome. It could not be said, however, to be given 
by " dumb animals," for each hound had a peculiar winning 
note of its own to express its joy, and no one could for a 
moment doubt the reciprocal delight both of master and 
hounds. This was the more singular as Mr. Smith never 
fed his hounds in the kennel, but, directly the hunting 
was over for the day, he mounted his hack and galloped 
home, while the hounds returned quietly with the whip- 

It did not add little to the character of this sylvan scene, 
to see the well-mounted field, and the cordial greeting which 
the knot of scarlets gave to the master of the hounds. !No 
time, however, was lost in salutations, for business was to 
be done. So alongside of his hack the squire's hunter was 

* "On Hunting," p. 29. 


brouglit, and without dismounting, he vaulted from one to 
the other, ahnost without rising from the saddle of the steed 
he quitted. This was always looked upon as an extraordi- 
nary feat of agility, and it could not have been performed 
without great muscular strength.* Mr. Smith continued 
this practice almost up to the time of his death ; and only 
two years before that event took place, he was stopping on 
horseback at the door of one of the clubs in St. James's 
Street, when a horse was brought up which his owner com- 
plained of as being most difficult to manage. The squire 
had him led up alongside, and, although quite strange to him, 
jumped on his back in the usual style, when, to the astonish- 
ment of every one, after a turn or two with the refractory 
horse up and down the street, he brought him back as quiet 
as a lamb. In fJEUjt, he seemed to possess the same fascinat- 
ing power over horses which he has been already shown to 
have had over hounds. Much of this power is doubtless to 
be attributed to his wonderful delicacy of touch in handling 
a horse. 

The above instance is not the only one where animals, 
violent and irritable in other hands, have been known to be 
comparatively quiet in his. There was, however, one excep- 
tion, and this was in a beautiful brown thoroughbred horse 
called " Cracker," who took an unaccountable dislike to the 
squire's redcoat, although on all other occasions he was per- 
fectly tractable. It is related by one of his friends, that he 
saw this hunter, on his master's attempting to mount him, 
kick him down in the most savage manner. Mr. Smith was 
not the man to give in even after such opposition as this, but 
at length, after many entreaties on the part of his wife, he 

* " In June, 1858, a few months before his death, Mr. Smith was in 
Botten Bow and at Tattersall's, as usual, on Blemish ; and ^hen he 
rode into the ring one morning, and saw Barey driving his zebra round 
it, he made his servant bring his horse alongside, and quite gloried in 
showing the celebrated American how he could still change horses in 
a ran without dismounting.'' — Silk and Scarlet, p. 284. 


consentedy with great reluctance, to part with him, although 
for many good qualities as a hunter he was a great &yoarite. 
The horse became afterwards the property of a celebrated 
vendor of pale ale. 

The influence which Mr. Smith appeared to wield over 
horses, materially contributed to his excellent management 
of them. He used to say that as soon as he mounted a strange 
horse, the animal would turn his head round, and seemed to 
smell at his left boot, and after that they were acquainted. 
It must have been an interesting sight to have seen him 
witness a private rehearsal between Karey and Cruiser, 
which he did in the last summer of his life, when he ex- 
pressed himself much pleased with Barey's extraordinary 
power in taming vicious animals. 

When Lord Kennedy made a match for £500, for Cap- 
tain Douglas to ride a steeple chase against Captain Ross's 
Clinker, over Qyb miles of the severest hunting-ground in 
Leicestershire, — namely, from Barkby Holt to the Coplow, 
— his lordship purchased Hadical of Mr. Assheton Smith for 
500 guineas for the purposes of the match. This noble animal 
was a most difficult horse to ride, and Mr. Smith's remark 
was, '' whoever rides him must be as strong as an elephant, 
as bold as a lion, and as quiet as a mouse." He himself 
rode Eadical in a double snaffle, or rather, a snaffle and a 
gag rein, his favourite bit at that time, as he said it was the 
lightest or severest, as the case might require. He after- 
wards adopted a double bridle, known as the Bentinck bit, 
being an invention of the late lamented Lord George Ben- 
tinck. This was a very severe instrument, and only suited 
for such light hands as those of Mr. Smith. In those of 
others it often caused accidents, as, owing to its unusual 
severity, few horses would go against it. To return to the 
match, Eadical was beaten by Clinker, when Lord Kennedy 
offered to double the stakes on condition that Mr. Smith 
would ride Eadical. On this being mentioned to him, his 
reply was, ''Much as I esteem the implied complimenti I 


will not turn rough-rider to please any man living." The 
tratb was, he always held steeple chases in aversion, on the 
ground that they unfairly and cruelly taxed the powers of a 
horse, and, moreover, because they were patronised by such 
as preferred seeing others break their necks to the risk of 
breaking their own. Clinker was afterwards beaten by 
Clasher, who was ridden by Mr.Osbaldestou, Dick Christian 
riding Clinker. The ground selected was that from Great 
Dalby to Tilton, a distance of five miles. Mr. Osbaldeston 
afterwards crowned the victory he had already obtained, by 
defeating Captain Ross himself, the former being mounted 
on Pilot, and the captain on Polecat. 

Mr. Smith was once riding Badical, soon after he had 
made him handy, in the Market Harborough country, when 
he observed, even while the hounds were drawing, a fellow, 
dressed like a horse jockey at a fiedr, following close after 
him over every leap he took. On inquiry he ascertained 
that the man was a horse doctor, who had made a 
bet that his horse would jump anything that should be 
cleared by BadicaL Matters went on pretty smoothly until 
they found, when the squire's rival for some time followed 
close, until they arrived at a hog-backed foot-style with a tre- 
mendous drop, and with steps into a road. This Radical 
cleared, but his unfortunate follower's horse, striking the 
top bar with his knees, came headlong into the road with 
his rider, who was carried home senseless. The next day, as 
the squire was riding through the village, he was mobbed 
and hooted by the old women, as being the man who had 
nearly killed their hard-riding farrier. This anecdote is 
not unlike that told of Burton, the Nuneaton tanner, who 
always made a dead set at Mr. Smith in a similar way. 
The tanner was habitually attired in a light-coloured green 
coat, from which he received the name of Paroquet, and he 
rode remarkably well The squire at last, being determined 
to shake him off, sent Jack-o'-Lantem at an almost imprac- 
ticable flight of stiff rails, the top bar of which he brokOi 


and, to his vexatioD, made the passage easy for the tough 
man of hides, who was soon once more at his side, and was 
not destined to receive his tarming at all events that time. 

There was another strong reason why horses and hounds 
became so docile and tractable with Mr. Smith, and that 
was his jast treatment of them, which brutes are sensible 
enough to comprehend and appreciate. It is a fact well 
recorded, that he was never known to strike a horse or 
hound unfairly or to lose his temper with them. " How is 
it," asked a friend, " that horses and hounds never seem to 
provoke you ?" " They are brutes and know no better, but 
men do," was the pithy reply. He used to say that horses 
had far more sense than dogs. There is another fact which 
Mr. Smith himself used to mention with no common pride. 
Notwithstanding the gallant manner in which he always 
rode — never turning from any fence that interfered be- 
tween him and his hounds — ^he never had a horse drop 
dead under him, or die from the effects of a severe day's 
riding. This was a boast which no other master of hounds 
could make, who had ever hunted half as long, or ridden 
half as hard, as the squire of Tedworth. Nevertheless, the 
boast must be qualified by the circumstance, that it is not 
every fox-hunter or master of hounds who could afford a 
fresh horse as frequently as Mr. Smith. 

We are reminded by the mention of the name of the late 
Lord George Bentinck, that this respected nobleman lived 
on terms of intimate friendship with Mr. Assheton Smith, 
by whom he was much admired for his high character, his 
manly bearing, and his unswerving rectitude in matters 
connected with the turf. By his influence the squire was 
persuaded to have some brood mares at Tedworth, and for a 
short time to be a member of the Jockey Club. Mr. Smith, 
however, soon declined this new pursuit; he loved the 
straightforward honesty of a fox-hunt, but observed that the 
chicanery of racing was ungenial to him. Nevertheless he 
once actually rode and won a race. This was on the Win- 


Chester course. He had put a hard-pulling raking-horse, 
called Spartacus, into the Hunters' Stakes there, who so 
overpowered his rider (^' I think," said Mr. Smith, himself 
relating the anecdote, ''it was young Buckle'*) that he 
bolted, and was consequently distanced. The squire chal- 
lenged the winner for £50, owners to ride (Bob Lowth was 
the adverse jockey), and he won easily each heat. During 
the time he was a member of the Jockey Club, Lord George 
Bentinck wrote and asked him to come to Newmarket to 
support his lordship on some intricate question relating to 
the tur£ This Mr. Smith declined to do, alleging, as an 
excuse, his having been a member so short a time, and 
not wishing to identify himself with any discussions rela- 
tive to racing, in which he did not profess himself an 
adept. Not long afterwards Mr. Smith invited his lord- 
ship to hunt at Ted worth, and, as Lord George had then 
sold all his hunters, offered to mount him on Election, then 
perhaps the A 1 of his whole stud. The reply was, " Dear 
Mr. Smith, — I have always been accustomed to drink out of 
a large cup, and cannot stoop to a little one. I decline 
hunting on another man's horse when I have no longer 
hunters of my own. Your letter reminds me that you are 
the only one of my father's old friends who, when solicited, 
would not support his son in his endeavour to reform the 
Augean stable." Mr. Smith had forgotten the incident 
above alluded to, but it had remained aUd mente repostum in 
the breast of his lordship. The anecdote is characteristic of 
both. Lord George was a frequent visitor at Ted worth, 
was a gallant rider, and could view a fox (so said the squire) 
farther than any man living. He once, during a fast run, 
charged Wilbury Park pales on Wintonian, a racer who had 
never faced timber before. Fortunately they broke, and 
the horse noade a gap large enough for a flock of sheep to 
pass through, but his rider escaped a fall 

60 Riuiii«isc£NC£Sy era 



Neo tibi cnra canum fuerit postrema. — ^ViBO. 
Qaique sui memores alios fecere merendo. — ^Yxbo. 

During the period occupied in the rebuilding of Tedwortli, 
viz., two years (from 1828 to 1830), Mr. Smith continued 
to reside at Penton. In the latter year be moved bis esta- 
blishment to the new mansion. During the previous season 
he had commenced his stables and kennels, which were built 
entirely after his own plan. They were spacious, aiiy, and 
every way well suited to the purpose for which they were 
designed. Every hunter had his loose box ; he was never 
tied up, and thus had plenty of room to move about in. 
There was also a spacious covered ride, a furlong in circum- 
ference, for the horses to take their exercise in. The writer, 
on a visit to Ted worth, in the autumn of 1845, saw fifty 
horses in the stables, including hunters, carriage-horses, and 
hacks, all in first-rate condition, and each apparently as 
familiar with the squire as a pet dog would be.* Among 
these he recollects that Netheravon and Black Diamond 
excited his highest admiration. 

The kennels are situated about ten minutes* walk from 
the house, and close to the Home Farm. They were origi- 
nally built by Mr. Smith on rising ground above the stables; 
but owing to the hounds constantly suffering from kennel 

* The name of each horse was in printed letters over his buz. 



lameness, although every precaution of draining, ventila- 
tion, and paviog was resorted to, the situation or subsoil 


(chalk upon strong clay) was deemed unhealthy and con- 
demned. Mr. Smith, with his usual discernment, had re- 
marked that the lame hounds, when removed below the hill 
to his Home Farm, and turned into the calf-pens there, soon 
recovered. This induced him at once to fix on that spot, 
well sheltered by trees and buildings from the north and 
north-east, for the site of the present excellent kennels. He 
drew the design for them on half a sheet of paper, which was 
afterwards put to a scale, and carried out exactly according 
to the plan by his own carpenter and bricklayer. 

A writer in the Sporting Mctgaztne^ speakiug of the boil- 
ing and feeding-houses at Tedworth, remarks that they are 


removed from the kennel to avoid efflavia ; but this plan, 
he says, is open to the objection, that the backs of the hounds 
are exposed to the wet in rainy weather, when coming for 
their food, and standing to take it. 

In Beckford's time, the boiling-house and feeding-rooms 
of kennels for foxhounds were placed in the centre. There 
were two kennels, the hunting and ordinary kennel. The 
floor of the lodging-rooms sloped, and was always bricked. 
There was a hayrick m the grass-yard, for the hounds to rest 
themselves against. Somerville, in his poem on ''The Chase,** 
recommends a high sitaation ; but, as Beckford observes, if 
this be selected, there can be no brook running through the 
kennels, which is very desirable on many accounts. 

Passing up the shrubbery and skirting the edge of the 
farm-yard, you come at once upon a slope of undulating 
green sward, and here, under the eye of one of the whippers- 
in, scores of loose hounds might be seen taking their exer- 
cise. On the top of the hill, open towards the south-west, 
ranged the kennels, four in number, and as snug in their 
accommodation as the greatest lover of hounds could desire. 
Here flourished Tomboy, Tarquin, Trimbush (of whom we 
have already spoken), Tigress, and Traffic, of Burton blood. 
Tomboy was notorious for always bringing home the fox's 
head, no matter how distant the kilL Those who were out 
that day will well recollect Traffic and the hunted fox rolling 
off the thatch of a house together, at the close of a quick 
run from Collingboume "Wood to Fosbury, and back to Dean 
Farm ; while others will not forget the courage of Trimmer 
in lugging a marten cat out of a hurdle pile in Doyly Wood 
single handed. A sporting farmer once seeing these, and 
numerous other hounds as good, running in a cluster and 
close behind their fox, exclaimed joyously, " They goes at 
'un like my wether sheep into a tie of turnips, aU Jurst" 
Mr. Smith at flrst had the flooring of his kennels paved with 
flint-stones ; but, on one occasion, when his hounds were 
suffering from shoulder lameness, he found it necessary to 



move tiiem so quickly that a roomy cart-shed was provided 
for them. The flooring of this shed was of chalk well 


rammed down, on the principle of the old Boman barn-floors 
mentioned in Yirgil^s (>eorgics, cretd aclidcmda tenaci. 
Here the hounds soon recovered, and upon the flint-stones 
in the kennel being removed, a great deal of moisture was 
found collected underneath, although there was no land- 
spring near. This convinced the squire that Yirgil was 
right, and from that time the yards of the kennels were laid 
with hard clay or chalk. The hounds were strangers to 
shoulder-lameness ever afterwards. Their sleeping apart- 
ments were raised four feet from the ground, each hound, 
like his master, going upstairs to bed. They were thatched 


with reeds, for the sake of warmth in winter and coolness in 
Slimmer, each lodging-house being made to hold twenty 
couples of hounds. The yards annexed to the respective kcDnels 
are raised in the centre, with gutter-bricks all round them, 
converging to the sides, so that the water, which is laid on by 
pipes with taps to them, is instantaneously carried off, and 
there is no underground drain near to catch and detain the 
moisture. Close by is the huntsman's house, so that all riot 
and disturbance are quelled immediately on any outbreak. 
The old cart-shed is still retained for young hounds, and as 
a place of litter for puppies. Adjoining the kennels is a 
spacious paddock, enclosed all round with a lofty wall, in 
which the hounds can run at large when inspected by the 
huntsman or by strangers. Built into the wall about the 
centre of it is a pavilion, with a raised platform, and having 
a door of admission only on the outside, for the accommo- 
dation of ladies on coming to see the hounds. 
^ Let us cross from the kennels to the beautifully smooth 
lawn in front of the dining-room at Tedworth. The spec- 
tator, standing at one of the windows, looks into an open 
part of the park, studded here and there with noble timber. 
It is the first morning in November, somewhat dark and 
lowering, but the clouds, sailing through the sky steadily 
from the south-west, give indications of a good hunting- 
day. The leaf has not yet wholly fallen, but the gust is 
sweeping it in eddies from each group of trees over the 
stately hall. The woods which fringe the distant hills are 
clothed with their richest mantle of russet and gold. The 
best pack in the kennel are already rolling themselves and 
disporting upon the grass ; the huntsman and whippers-in 
are not far off, splendidly mounted, and, with their equip- 
ments, a sight to look at. In every direction are pouring in 
horsemen of every age and calling, coats of every colour, 
but the *^ pink *' far predominating, and a sprinkling of 
the loveliest women in the world, either on horseback, or in 


''The East looks grey ; the early lark 
Moants upwards to the sky. 
And to the rosy-fingered mom 
Pours forth its minstrelsy. 
Bight merrily the huntsman winds 
The horn along the vale. 
And Echo to the neighbouring hills 
Imparts the gladsome tale." — Old Sang, 

It is the opening meet of the season, and Tedworth's 
hospitable mansion is thrown open to every comer. In the 
midst is the squire, cordial and affable, on one of his well- 
known steeds, offering to all a hearty welcome, ready 
with a sporting joke for some, and a jovial laugh for others. 
Here may be seen a throng of eager sportsmen, discussing 
with enthusiasm the prospects and pleasures of the season 
now about to commence ; there a group encircling a lovely 
horsewoman, to be the subject of many a toast by-and-by, 
when the claret circulates freely after the toils and perils 
of the chase. In the meanwhile what capital cheer within 
the hall, what barons of beef, what interminable venison 
pasties 1 Breakfast ended — and no superfluous time is 
wasted in dispatching it — away go the field to a wood not very 
far off, near to which is the residence of one of the keepers, 
whose pretty little daughter Mr. Smith is accused of pre- 
senting not unfrequently with a new dress, only because 
Beynard is always to be found at home there. Scenes ' 
like these gladden the heart, — truly they deserve a better 
hand than ours to paint; nevertheless it may be that 
more than one sportsman may look at the copy, not 
without some " pleasures of memory," for the sake of the 

But although Mr. Assheton Smith was, at the period of 
his life we are endeavouring to sketch, warmly devoted to 
fox-hunting, and indeed made it his special pursuit, he was 
not neglectful of the duties which, as a landed proprietor 
and English country gentleman, he had to discharge. He 
sat in Parliament for Andover for several years, and up to 



the passing of the Eeform Bill in 1832. His politics were 
of the old Tory school, and, in consequence of his strenuoas 
opposition to that measure, he lost his seat. While in the 
House of Commons, he regularly attended the debates, and 
never lost an opportunity of recording his vote for his party. 
He subsequently represented Caernarvonshire in more than one 
Parliament, but his name is seldom to be found in the debates. 
He was always more a man of action than a man of speech, 
and his example might well be followed by many of the 
legislators of the present day, who discuss measures over 
and over again, long after the nation has made up its miud 
about them, and at the same time show no disposition to 
deduce from their arguments any tangible and useful results. 
Before railroads almost annihilated time and space, Mr. 
Smith used frequently to hunt his hounds at Tedworth in 
the morning, and then post in his light chariot with four 
horses to Westminster in the evening, announcing to the 
field that he must be allowed to meet at noon next day. 
Having voted in the division, he did not £9ul to be at the 
covert side at the hour appointed. 

It was at the time when, he lost his seat for Andover, 
viz., 1832, that, in consequence of the riots which took 
place in that year, he raised a coi'ps of Yeomanry Cavalry 
at his own expense. He was Captain, and the troopers 
were chiefly his own tenants or formers of the neighbour- 
hood. They were viewed on one occasion in Tedworth 
Park by the late Duke of Wellington, who spoke in high 
terms of their efficiency and soldierlike appearance. After 
the inspection and review, the troops were entertained at 
Tedworth House. These volunteers, who could well have 
helped to defend Old England against invasion, if necessary, 
were most of them good men over a country, and as such 
much more likely to do service in the time of emergency 
than a body of cavalry who are obliged to go round by the 
road, because they can neither skim ridge and fiirrow, nor 
clear a dark fence at the end of it It is well known that 


the Dttke himself, in choosing his aides-de-camp, always 
praferred fox-hunters, because he said they knew how to 
ride straight to a given point, generally had good horses, 
and were equally willing to charge a big place or an 

We have spoken already of his Grace's fondness for fox- 
hunting. He was no less liberal in supporting it. On one 
occasion, when the subscription to a good pack fell off, and 
some lukewarmness showed itself among the contribators, 
being asked to give his assistance, he said laconically, '' Get 
what you can, and put my name down for the difference." 
That difference was £600 a year ! Yet, notwithstanding 
the great Duke was a fox-hunter, no man presumed to 
doubt his master mind, either as a general or as a states- 
man. Mr. Smith's character has found its detractors 
because of his devotion to the chase. But, as has been well 
remarkied, the very manner in which he was able to follow 
the pursuit, by his position, his wealth, his influence, and his 
superior talent as a master of hounds, had the effect of raising 
the science of fox-hunting to that degree of perfection 
which places it beyond the reach of imitation in other 
countries, and serves to retain for it all its national charac- 

Kevertheless, it will be seen, in the course of this memoir, ' 
that the squire was not a fox-hunter and nothing else. It 
was the man who did credit to the pursuit, rather than the 
pursuit which did credit to the man. In the management 
of his fine estates, both in Hants and Caernarvonshire, he 
found full occupation for the discharge of his duties as a 
country gentleman. His tenants vied with each other in 
eliciting commendations from their landlord, for the good 
order and skilful husbandry with which their lands were 
farmed. They well knew that the acute and observing eye 
of the squire would quickly discover any signs of careless- 
ness and bad management ; while, at the same time, they 
took care that when the hounds came their way, there 



should not be any complaint of the want of fozes. Daring 
the panic created bj the introduction of free trade, a worthy 
farmer remarked to Mr. Smith, at its commencement, 
that the cultivation of com would soon cease. '^ So much 
the better," observed the squire, smiling at his tenant's 
apprehension ; '< for then I shall hunt over a grass 
country." On a similar occasion, Lord Southampton said to 
a farmer who was too fond of over-riding his hounds, ^ I 
think, Sir, that Sir Robert PeeFs Bill will stop you, though 
/ cannot." 

The cottages in the village of Tedworth were models of 
neatness and comfort. These Mrs. Smith used herself to 
overlook, and the healthful and cheerful fieices of the inmates 
well testified the care taken of them. No one could notice 
the tidy garden around each homestead, with the honey-* 
suckle or rose festooning around its porch,* and the scarlet 
Pyracantha climbing its walls, without feeling that 'here 
that truly English picture was fully realized, of a country 
gentleman living in the midst of his people, spending his 
money, where it ought to be spent, upon his own estate, 
and winding himself closely into the attachment and 
hearts of his dependants. 

At the time we speak o^ the schools did not exist in the 
condition they are in now. These were added to the 
village in 1857. Not many hundred yards from the Hall 
is the old church, lying under the Downs, and with scarcely 
a habitation near it, except the house of the minister. 
From the churchyard, the eye, passing over the mansion, 
and the trees surrounding it in the valley, takes in a range 
of hills, stretching themselves one above another in the 
direction of Marlborough, and which the horseman may 
traverse for many miles without ever leaving the turf. On 
this extensive domain there was scarcely a man, woman, or 
child, who could not receive employment if they wanted it, 

* There ib scarcely a cottage without its porch and double seat 


and there was always a fair day's wage for a fair day's 
labour. The summer months were generally passed by Mr. 
Smith on his property in Caernarvonshire, and he returned 
to Tedworth for cub-hunting in the early autumn. Let us 
follow the squire and his establishment into Korth Wales. 
He was for some time a member of the Boyal Yacht Club, 
and from the earliest period of life fond of sailing : with 
nautical science he was indeed quite as familiar as he was 
with fox-hunting. 

In the Straits of Menai, on the banks of which stood 
Vaenol, his residence in Wales, he had ample scope for 
indulging his sea-going propensities. Yaenol had originally 
belonged to the Williams flEtmily of Fryars, Auglesea ; but 
Griffith Williams, in the reign of Queen Anne, having no 
issue, bequeathed the estates to the crown. That sovereign 
granted them to the then speaker of the House of Commons, 
and they thus became the property of the Smith family, 
who had had previously no connexion with the Principality. 
The grounds slope down to the water's edge, and the squire 
could embark immediately on board his yacht, which lay at 
anchor at no great distance from the shore. Opposite 
Vaenol, on the other side of the Straits, is Plas Newydd, 
(Anglic^f " the New Palace,") the property of the Marquis 
of Anglesea, formerly graced by the presence of her 
Majesty when Princess Victoria, and of her august mother. 
Mr. Smith himself lived there for some time, while Vaenol 
was undergoing alterations. The mansion is now tenanted 
by the Dowager Lady Willoughby de Broke. During the 
period of the Princess Victoria's residence at Plas Newydd, she 
condescended to visit the squire of Tedworth at Vaenol, and 
presented him with a portrait of herself and of the Duchess 
of Kent, one of the few engraved only for private circu- 
lation. This souvenir of the royal visit was highly prized by 
Mr. Smith, and it filled a conspicuous place on the walls of the 
mansion in Wales to the time of his death. His loyalty to his 
Queen had in fact something of the romantic in it. Her name 


is to be found at all points of his immense property. The 
handsome hotel at Llanberris, from which the tourist com- 
mences his toilsome ascent to the cloudy summit of Snow- 
don, was built by him, and named " Die Victoria ; " that 
quarry whence comes the green slate, now so much in 
fashion for ornamental buildings, was, for its superior 
quality, called Victoria ; three of the best steam-yachts of 
the many he built, and of which we shall presently speak 
more in detail, were named " Fire-Queen." Her Majesty is 
said to have asked Mr. Smith why he called the first of 
these the "Fire-Queen." The reply of the veteran was 
characteristic. " May . it please your Majesty, I had a 
yacht called the * Fire-King,' which was superior to any I 
had before : this is superior to that, and I call her ' Fire- 
Queen.' " 

At no great distance from Vaenol stands the port of 
Dinorwic, already formed by Nature for security, but con- 
siderably enlarged by Mr. Smith in 1828, and now affording 
shelter in tempestuous weather to as many vessels as are to 
be found passing up and down the Menai Straits. Here is 
safe anchorage for sixty or seventy craft of two himdred 
tons burthen each, awaiting their cargoes of some of the 
bcfflt slate in the world. The mountain where this useful 
and valuable material is to be found is owned on the one 
side by Col. Douglas Pennant, and on the other by Mr. 
Assheton Smith ; they are quarrying away as fast as they 
can to meet each other, though it will take a century to do 
it. It has the appearance of a colossal plum cake, out of 
which two boys are each trying to take the largest slice he 
can. The harbour of Port Dinorwic is beautifully situated 
in the very centre of the straits, equidistant from the open 
sea at Caernarvon Bay and from Puffin Island. From an 
eminence above the port are seen the magnificent structure 
of Stephenson and Telford's elegant and graceful work. 
Opposite is the pillar erected to commemorate the gallantry 
of one of the bravest of the house of Paget. To the left, 


as tbe traveller gazes np the straits in the direction of 
Orme's Head, is the pretty town of Beaumaris, and imme- 
diately above it the extensive woods encircling the noble 
mansion of Baron Hill. Nature has indeed been bountiful 
to the inhabitants of this picturesque locality. Here at 
every turn is abundant scope for the imagination of the 
painter and the poet in the dark overhanging masses of 
every shade and colour; while the man of business and 
commerce, as he stands at the door of the Victoria Hotel at 
Uanberris, hears with interest and admiration the incessant 
echo of the hammers, and watches the busy movements of 
the workmen, clinging apparently to the almost perpen- 
dicular sides of the cliffs. At the port, the excellent 
arrangements for transporting and shipping the slates do 
not escape his notice; although he must be rather surprised 
to see " Duchesses " and ** Countesses " * so roughly handled. 
The following accurate and graphic description of Mr. 
Smith's quarries has been furnished for this memoir by Mr. 
Millington, son of the gentleman who has for many years 
most ably and zealously superintended the works. 

" The Dinorwic slate quarries are edtuated on a mountain 
called the ' Elidir ' (one of the Snowdonian range, and con- 
tiguous to Snowdon), which rises about 2,000 feet above 
the level of the sea : they derive their name of Dinorwic, 
or Dinorwig, from an ancient manor in which they are 
situated, and lie partly in the parish of Llanberris, and 
partly in that of Llandemilen, in the county of Caernarvon. 
The period at which slate was first found in these quarries 
is unknown, but the regular and systematic working com- 
menced about sixty years ago, and they have been gradually 
increasing in extent. The great increase, however, has 
taken place since 1828, when the late Mr. Assheton Smith 
succeeded to the property at the death of his father. On 
entering into possession, he carried on the works in a most 

* Slates known by these titles. 

72 BxaasjBCESCBS, eec. 

vigorous and enterprising manner, opened many fresh 
quarries, and extended those already in work, so that in the 
space of thirty years they have quadrupled in extent. 
There are now employed about 2,400 men and boys ; and 
the amount expended monthly in wages and materials ex- 
ceeds £9,000. 

"There are various descriptions of slates produced, 
varying in quality, as best or fine slate, seconds or strong 
slate ; and also in colour, as grey or light blue, dark blue or 
purple, red, and also green ; the last named, however, being 
found in but small quantities. The body of slate rock is of 
very considerable extent. The present workings (May, 
1859) cover a space of not less than one square mile ; the 
highest elevation of the quarries now open is about 1,500 
feet above the level of the Llanberris lakes, and about 1,800 
feet above the level of the sea. The depth of the slate 
rock has never been ascertained, but it is supposed to be 
between 1,500 and 2,000 feet. The rock in these quarries 
has been worked to the depth of 300 perpendicular feet. 
The roofing slates are split and dressed in numerous sheds, 
situated on the rubbish banks adjoining the quarries. The 
slabs are manufactured at powerful steam and water mills 
in the immediate neighbourhood. Convenient tramways, 
about twenty-three miles in extent, are laid along the 
various workings and quarry banks ; upon these small 
waggons are run, into which the slates and slabs are loaded 
and taken to the inclines, whence they are let down by 
wire ropes to the railway terminus. The inclines are laid 
up the precipitous side of the mountain, and are eighteen 
in nu^lber, averaging 600 feet in length. At the railway 
terminus adjoining the quarries, the small loaded waggons 
are placed upon large tracks (each holding four), and are 
then formed into trains, and drawn by locomotives to the 
shipping port. From the quarries -to the port, the railway, 
called 'the Padam Bail way,' is rather more than seven 
miles in length, and was constructed by the late Mr. 


Assbeton Smith at a very considerable outlay about the 
year 1843, solely for the purposes of the works. The 
place of shipment is a commodious harbour, called * Port 
Dinorwic,' a private port, used only for the shipment of 
slates from the Dinorwic quarries, and is situated in the 
Menai Straits, half-way between Bangor and Caernarvon. 
It was commenced on a small scale by the late Mr. Smith's 
father, but was enlarged and extended to its present size by 
Mr. Smith himself, who also added to it two commodious 
and convenient docks. About 120 vessels can lie alongside 
the quays and in the docks, securely sheltered from all 
winda Slates are shipped largely from hence to most of 
the sea-ports of England, Ireland, and Scotland, to the 
Baltic and German ports, and extensively to the United 
States of America. A branch of the Caernarvon and 
Bangor railway connects this port with the Chester, and 
Holyhead, and London and North- Western lines, by which 
means slates are conveyed in large quantities to the manu- 
&ctnring and midland districts of England." 

The genius that could invent and organize the vast im- 
provements recorded in the above narrative must have been 
of no mean order ; while we admire the spirit and enter- 
prise that thus famished constant employment all the year 
round to so many thousands. The tourist is permitted to 
ride up the inclines, and thus to visit the quarries. This is 
an adventure reqxdring no little nerve : for although every 
precaution is taken to prevent danger, and such is the 
strength of the machinery, that an accident has scarcely 
been ever known to occur ; yet the stoutest heart may well 
throb, as the traveller, in making the ascent, looks down 
wlien midway up into the dark watery gulf of Llanberris, 
many hundred feet beneath him. This feeling will not be 
diminished in his descent, although made with the utmost 
care, and with no greater- velocity than the ascent. The 
cable which serves to raise and let down the carriages is of 
many folds of twisted copper wire, and the wei&;ht of those 


coming down serves to raise those going up. This cable is 
no less than a thousand yards in length. There can be 
imagined no grander scene than is beheld from the railway 
leading to these inclines. Immediately in front is the 
majestic range of Snowdon, and a few miles distant to the 
right of the traveller, as he makes his pilgrimage upwards, 
is Bethgelert, famous for its being the centre of many a 
lovely valley, and for its romantic legend of the death of 
Gelert, most faithful of hounds : — 

" And till great Snowdon't roeks grow old, 
And cease the storm to brave. 
The consecrated spot shall hold 
The name of 6elert*s grave.*' 

Quitting the harbour of Dinorwic, where thousands of 
slates are stacked in every direction ready for embarkation, 
we either mount immediately the first incline, at the top of 
which is the railway terminus, or taking the route across the 
open country, we pass through the centre of the slate dis- 
trict into the bowels of the black rock (AUt DA), over- 
hanging the Upper Lake of Llanberris. 

On our arrival at the quarries we make the best use 
of our time, in acquiring information as to the mode in 
which the works are carried on. The slate is cut by piece- 
work, the "bargainers," as they are called, taking each a certain 
number of feet in width, and to such a nicety can they blast 
the sides of the quarry, that they have been known to con- 
tinue " on their lines " for twenty-five years without en- 
croaching an inch on the adjoining bargainer's tenure. The 
steam-engine (by David Brothers, Sheffield) has been at 
work ten years, and not unfrequently both day and night, 
and yet it was never known to be out of order. The quar- 
rymen have such faith in it that they affirm it would work 
just as well on slates as on coal or coke. The machine for 
dressing the slates, styled the guillotine, the invention of 
Morin, from the same country as came its formidable name- 


Bake, is almost as dangerous to handle; this instmment, 
after cutting away clean the four sides of the slate, pushes 
the latter from the block into the basket. Not £kc from 
the guiUotine is the large graving tool for planing billiard 

'Every now and then the bugle sounds from the door of a 
small white hut, conspicuous about the centre of the moun- 
tain, not as at Tedwortb, to cheer gallant steed and faonnd, 
but to warn the workmen and spectators that the blasting- 
coil is about to be set fire to. Scarcely have they time to 
get behind the rocks, when splinters of slate are falling in 
all directions, and huge fragments of mountain are hurled 
into the lake below. The office of Mr. Ellis, the manager, 
has been made bomb-proof to prevent accidents. In July, 
1857, 220,000 tons were levelled at one blast from the 
Wellington quarry, and at a very trifling cost. The blast- 
ing takes place once an hour, when grace, as it is called, 
is given to the men for ten minutes, during which each 
labourer is allowed to take out and light his pipe. Smoking 
is not permitted except at these intervals. A number of 
boys begin their education as future quarrymen in collecting 
the odds and ends of broken slate, picking out those pieces 
which may be useful, and wheeling them in their tiny car- 
riages along a tramway to the huts, where they are clipped 
and turned to account. Occasionally a shout of glee is a 
sign that they have lit upon a piece of quartz, which they 
offer to visitors in exchange for copper. The number of 
tons annually carried away by the railway averages 1,200,000. 
The quarries abound with a vast number of workshops, 
where almost everything is manufactured ''on the pre- 
mises," from the first loaf the quanyman eats, to the slab 
which forms his gravestone, and tells in rude Welsh poetry 
his past good qualities and his future hope. 

A large proportion of the young men now employed 
upon the mountain were bom almost in the quarries ; some 
from the condition of daily labourers have risen to a consi- 


derable degree of affluence ; others have emigrated to the 
gold-fields of Australia, where their skill in quarrying, and 
their hardy and temperate habits, have stood them in good 
service ; while there are to be found those still at work 
among the slabs, who have returned with nuggets enough 
to buy mountain homesteads, and are industriously increasing 
their means by following their old employment. Like the 
inhabitants of all mountainous districts, the Welsh are ardent 
lovers of their own unconquered country, and whether acci- 
dent, duty, or ambition casts their temporary lot in other 
lands, a home in their own locality is a vision they never 
lose sight of. 

Mr. Smith had an excellent plan of encouraging integrity 
and good conduct among his workmen. About thirty years 
ago, he began the system of allotting portions of mountain- 
land to the most deserving. The selection according to 
merit was entrusted to the quarry manager already mentioned, 
who was bom among them, and has held his office of trust 
for forty-five years. From eight to fifteen acres were meted 
out to each at a nominal rent, with the understanding that 
he should build a cottage for himself. In this way nearly 
two thousand acres of land are now under continuous 
cultivation, which formerly were covered with furze and 
heather. The occupiers are allowed to sell their estates to 
their fellow-labourers : some few have availed themselves of 
this permission, but for the most part they remain on their 
little farms after ceasing to work, and enjoy in their old age 
a comfortable retirement. Mr. Smith was influenced by 
another motive in scattering the houses over the district, 
instead of collecting them into a large town. He thought 
that his men would incur less temptation to resort to the 
public houses after their day's work, especially in the dark 
winter evenings, if they had a long distance to go from their 
homes for the purpose of obtaining drink. This dispersion 
of his labourers has proved very successful As we pass 
through the viUage of Llandinorwig, and onward through a 


locality dotted &r and wide with the cottages of a rapidly 
increasing population, encamped like sentinels around the 
new churchy we observe with pleasure the healthful and 
ruddy countenances of the children, and the neat appear- 
ance they everywhere present, even on working days. Each 
happy troop bears about it ample evidence that the parents 
are stayers at home. 

When the present steward first began his duties, the 
number of workmen in the quarries amounted only to 300 : 
at the present time they exceed 2,000, and during the life- 
time of Mr. Smith, not one of them had ever been taken 
before the magistrates for dishonesty. Such a fact speciks 
volumes : it is a signal contradiction of the reproach 
often uttered, that kindness to the poor meets with no 
return : it redounds to the honour of the employer who 
rewarded in the manner above mentioned the industry of 
his workmen, and to that of the men, who thus profited 
by the advantages held out to them. It is a pleasing sight 
to behold the groups of labourers on the mountain-side at 
dinner-time; scarcely a man of them all but has in his 
brawny hand a newspaper or other periodical wherewith 
he wHes away his time until his hour of rest has elapsed. 
Intelligence has made ample strides in these remote regions. 
Mr. Smith's principle of education always was, to prepare a 
youth for the position in society he was to fill on attaining 
manhood. He had the chUd of his labourer taught his duty 
to God and man, and gave him sufficient learning to 
enable him to discharge both duties efficiently ; but he 
always held, that the superfluous knowledge with which 
children are crammed in the present day, only tends to fill 
their minds with ideas unsuited to their station in society, 
and to render them discontented with their condition. 
This theory he reduced to practice. The elements of ar 
Christian education he furnished to his little colony in 
schools, built upon his estate, and provided with teachers at 
his own expense. Not satisfied with this, he built a church. 


considered one of the handsomest in Korth Wales, contain- 
ing free sittings for 600 souls ; also a parsonage hoase, to 
which he annexed twelve acres of glebe land, two more 
being given for a churchyard, and he moreover endowed the 
incumbent with a comfortable income. A fund is charge- 
able on the Welsh farms for necessary repairs. The conse- 
cration of the church took place on the 24th of September, 
1857, when a collation was given to upwards of £ve hun- 
dred people : indeed, the door of hospitality was open to all 
who chose to enter. The value of these donations amounts 
at the lowest estimate to £16,000, the church and parsonage 
alone costing £8,000. 

Mr. Smith was never known to refuse a site for church 
or chapel on his land, if the request was made in a proper 
manner. An elder of the Caivinistic body has related 
that they never applied to him for a site for chapel or 
schools but it was at once cheerfully granted. This was the 
more liberal as he was himself a staunch member of the 
Church of England. Both he and Mrs. Smith invaria- 
bly went to church on foot, and made it a rule, except in 
case of illness, never to have either carriage or horse out on 
a Sunday. On one occasion, however, the squire was known 
to refuse a gift of land for church purposes ; but in that case 
the over-officious citizens had plans drawn out, the site deter- 
mined on, and estimates prepared before the lord of the soil 
was consulted, so that his refusal under such circumstances 
cannot be much wondered at. Dr. Cotton, the dean of Ban- 
gor, who was much beloved and respected by Mr. and Mrs. 
Smith, seldom resorted to him in vain for aid in works of 
charity. On one occasion, the dean being fond of a joke, as 
most Welshmen are, asked him for an old pair of boiiera 
Mr. Smith told him he had not got such a thing by 
him; and so the matter ended for the time. In a few 
weeks the dean went again to renew his request, saying, 
" You have so many steamers, you must have an old pair of 
boilers you can give me ;" whereupon the squire said. 


" Come, dean, tell me what you really want ? what is it 1 " — 
and on the dean owning that he did not want the boilers, but 
the boilers' worth, a cheque for the required sum was 
immediately handed to him. 

Mr. Smith was fond of taking parties from Yaenol to see 
the quarries, and always had his joke with the young ladies 
who inquired if it was not dangerous to ascend the inclines, 
by asking his agent, who frequently accompanied him, how 
long it was since the last accident. His favourite spot on 
such occasions was the Braich quarry (Anglici, arm of the 
mountain), which commanded a magnificent prospect of 
Uanberris Pass. A signal was hoisted on the house, when 
he intended going from the port by the train. This was 
responded to from the top of the first incline, and a com- 
fortable omnibus, with as much glass about it as could 
enable those within to see the most of the view, there 
awaited the arrival of his guests, and conveyed them along 
the edge of the lake, until they were obliged to dismount 
for the purpose of commencing the steeper part of the 
ascent. Close to the inclines, and nearly opposite Dolba- 
dam Tower, stands a pretty cottage, built by Mrs. Smith for 
the reception of her friends after the fatigues of their visit ; 
here they found abundance of good cheer, as well as a most 
lovely prospect. 

In the vicinity of the Llanberris quarries are the lakes of 
Llyn Peris and Llyn Padam, only separated from each other 
by a narrow neck of laud over which runs the road to the 
village ; a small gurgling stream connects the two sheets of 
water, and the railway emerging from the mountains at the 
lower end of Llyn Padam, takes its name from it. These 
lakes abound in that beautiful fish the char, to take which 
by rod and line has baffled the most talented disciples of 
Izaak Walton. The trout, which are also very numerous, 
do not here grow to any size, and, curiously enough, they are 
generally to be found of the same weight, and as level as a 
pack of fox-hounds. About four years ago twenty of these 


fish were caught at one haul in the engine-hotiae resenroir, 
their cambined weight being twenty-two lbs., and they were so 
exactly alike, that it was impossible to detect any difference 
in their size ; we were told they were as red and as good as 
salmon. These treat were taken more than 2,000 feet above 
the level of the two large lakes, and the net in which they 
were caught is still to be seen hanging in one of the work- 
shops. Dragging, however, or casting, is not the only 
sport which the quarrymen enjoy. Occasionally they 
come upon the drag of an otter, and then a most motley 
pack of otter hounds, followed by a field of eager hunters, 
all on foot, and armed with poles, expel the enemy of 
the finny tribe from his haunts, and the chase is ended 
in the lake, which if the otter once gains, further pursuit 
is useless. 

The entire region round about might very appropriately 
be called Slate country ; everything is slate, from the lofty 
chimney of the engine-house and the kitchen table of the 
cottage to the fences and gate-posts of the fields, and the 
footpath itself which marks out the traveller's track to- 
wards Snowdon. The sleepers used on the railway are blocks 
of slate, rough hewn for this purpose by quarrymen of 
advanced age, who can prepare the sleepers when they are 
no longer fit for any other work. Slate is uppermost in the 
mind of almost every man you meet. A stranger dining at 
the hotel at Bangor, and sitting next to a ^ native," who 
descanted on the merits of his district, was requested by him 
to pass the " slate " instead of fhe salt. 

We cross over the road between the two lakes with Dol- 
badarn Tower, once the residence of Llewellyn, the last 
Prince of Wales of British line, close above us to the left, 
and pause for a few minutes to look up the inky waters of 
Llyn Peris, one mile in length, to the Pass of Uanberris, 
above which the frowning mountains seem to stretch their 
shadowy arms across to arrest the traveller in his course. 
At this moment a large quantity of broken slates are thrown 


over tbe rubbish heap, which projects far into the lake, and 
the crash is as great as if all the crockerj in the world had 
been broken at once. The embankment from the Welling- 
ton quarry threatens in time to reach the opposite shore, and 
is sadly destructive of the picturesque. In some parts this 
lake is forty fsithoms in depth. 

We are presently in the splendid saloon, or cofifee-room, 
of the Victoria Hotel, which neither Mr. nor Mrs. Smith 
lived to see completed, measuring fifty feet long by thirty- 
six wide, and lofty in proportion. From hence to the top 
of Snowdon is a distance of ^yq miles, extending entirely 
over the Yaenol estate ; one half of the mountain belonged 
to Mr. Smith while the other half is owned by Sir R. Wil- 
liams Bulkeley. The ascent is ma^e with less labour to the 
traveller from Llanberris than by way of Capel Cerig or 
Beth-Gelert. The windows of the hotel command a fine 
view of the slate quarries ; and when evening sets in, and the 
works above have all at once become silent, it is curious to 
watch the quarrymen who live along the line of railway 
returning home. This they accomplish by the aid of tl^y 
velocipedes, which are placed on the railway and worked by 
the men themselves, by means of a windlass. Each velocipede 
contains eight persons, and proceeding along the line, in the 
direction of the port, it deposits the labourer at the nearest 
point to his respective dwelling. The last man remaining re- 
turns towards the quarry, to take up a fresh load, or leaves 
his velocipede on the line until the next morning. Formerly 
there were twenty-six boats upon the lower lake to do the 
same duty, but since the railroad has been made they have 
fallen into disuse. As each sturdy labourer works himself 
homeward along the line, some well-known national air is 
borne across the waters, and dies away in echoes among the 
rocky caverns high over our heads. The workmen are 
clasdfied in a threefold division of quarr3rmen, roekmen, and 
labourers; all are employed at piece-work, and are paid 
their wages once a month. 



This lengthened acoonnt of Mr. Assheton Smith's Welsh 
property will, perhaps, be less interesting to the sporting 
reader than what has been related of him as a rider and a 
master of hounds. Bat as the object of this memoir is to 
describe him, not only as a sportsman, bat as fulfilling the 
duties of a landed proprietor, a man of wealth and influence, 
and a country gentleman, in an exemplaiy manner, it is 
hoped that that portion of it, which endeavours &ithfully to 
delineate him in these capacities, will not be regarded as 
generally the least worthy of perusal In the following 
chapter we shall examine his claims to be considered as a 
man of practical scieiice. 



" Ta regere imperio populos, Bomane, menMiito, 
H» tibi enint artes."— YiBG. 

" Certare ingenio, contendere nobilitate." — ^Luobet. 

In a letter from Mr. Bobert Kapier, the eminent ship- 
builder of Glasgow, addressed to the compiler of these 
Beminiscences in May, 1859, it is stated that Mr. Smith 
first turned his attention practically to the building ol 
steam-vessels in 1829. Mr. Napier prefaces his information 
with the following words : — ** It will give me great plea* 
sure if I can be of service to you in regard to the late 
Mr. Assheton Smith, for whom I entertained the highest 
respect on account of his upright, kind, disinterested con- 


duct in all matters, and for his earnest and persevering 
exertions to promote and improve steam navigaticm." 

Before Mr. Smith communicated his design of boilding a 
private steamer to Mr. Napier, he had been fw many years 
a member of the Hoyal Yacht Club, daring which period no 
fewer than five sailing yachts were built for him. The last 
of these was the MenaL A proposition made by him to 
admit steam-vessels to the privileges of the club was not 
fiivourably received, and some of the members went even so 
&r as to taunt him with the insinuation that he intended to 
make any steamer he might build subservient to business 
purposes. Mr. Smith was, naturally enough, very indignant 
at so unjust an accusation, and subsequently withdrew his 
name from the dub. 

The history of the first steam-yacht he built^ also called 
the Menaiy shall be told in Mr. Napier's own words. ^ In 
the year 1829, I received a letter from Mr. Smith (at that 
time a stranger to me) requesting me to meet him at his 
house (Penton) near Andover, which I did. He then in- 
formed me he had quarrelled with some of the members 
of the Royal Yacht Club, and was determined to leave the 
club, and build a steam-yacht, but that Mrs. Smith was very 
much against his doing so, and that I mfost overcome the 
objections to steam. To this I demurred, as I had never 
seen Mrs. Smith. He repeated, / rrvust doit. At that mo- 
ment dinner was announced, and I was introduced to Mrs. 
Smith. During dinner, Mr. Smith made many judicious 
remarks about steam and steam-vessels, others the reverse 
— ^the latter I explained when he was wrong. This was 
the only thing I did to overcome Mrs. Smith's objec- 
tions. Before partings he asked me to come in the morn- 
ing to breakfast (from Andover), which I did. Mr. Smith 
then decided on building a steam yacht, with copper boilers, 
and gave me the order, saying, when I wanted money he would 
send it. This vessel cost him about £20,000, and during 
its construction he sent money as wanted ; but he never 



came to see it, nor did he send any one, but left the wbole 
to myself till she was delivered to him at Bristol. What 
struck me most in this and the many other transactions I 
had with Mr. Smith, was the complete confidence he placed 
in me from first to last, to which I responded by doing 
everything I could to meet his wishes, and on the lowest 
terms I could, as I knew he did not build his vessels for 
mercantile purposes, but purely for the improvement of steam 
navigation. So sensible was Mr. Smith that I wished to 
serve him in the most liberal manner, that he seldom would 
look at my accounts beyond a glance at the sum totaL This 
I did not like at first, as I knew he was very particular in 
his business dealings with others. As another proof of his 
kindness and confidence, I may mention that he more than 
once volunteered to become my security when I was making 
heavy contracts for vessels or machinery with the Govern- 
ment or East-India Company. The following are the dates, 
names, tonnage, and power of the eight steam-vessels sup- 
plied by me to Mr. Smith, viz. : — 


Names of Vesseli. 



.. Menai 

about 400 

.. 120 


.. Glow-wonn .. .. 



.. 100 


.. Fire-king .. .. 



.. 230 


.. No. 1. FireHjueen 



.. 80 


.. No. 2. Ditto 



.. 80 


.. No. 8. Ditto 



.. 120 


. • Jenny Lind 



.. 70 


.. Sea Serpent 



.. 80 

'' In 1843 I built for him the WaJt^r Curt, a very small 
iron sailing vessel with two sliding keels. It is but justice 
to state that every one of the foregoing vessels was con- 
structed entirely according to Mr. Smith's own designs, and 
that with the exception of the WaJter Cwre they were all 
successful, and realised the objects he had in view. The 
Mefnai and Fvre-Mng were built of wood, all the others of 


iron. The Menai had three 
keelsy thus ; this was to pre- 
vent rolling, which it did to 
a great extent. Mr. Smith 
was always for hollow water 
lines, and was determined to 
prove their value on a large 

scale for sea-going steamers. For this purpose he ordered 
the Fvre-ldng (1840) to be built according to his own modd, 
with long very fine hollow water lines. This vessel was 
built at the Duke of Rutland's ship-building yard at Trorn, 
and lay on the stocks for about two years, during which 
time she was visited by many ship-builders and others 
interested in steam-vessels, by whom the model was uni- 
formly condemned. After she was finished the speed and 
the ease with which she went through the water astonished 
every one j and while the vessel's success wrought a com- 
plete change in the minds of all, it fully established the 
value of Mr. Smith's lines for all vessels, especially where 
great speed is required. I call them Mr. Smith's lines, for, 
although Mr. Scott Russell claimed them as his, I know 
that Mr. Smith, in 1829, wanted the Menai built with 
hollow lines, and that the Fi/re-Jdng was the Jl/rat steam-ship 
that practically proved the value of hollow water lines for 
great speed, &c."* 

Mr. Napier thus more fully describes in another letter 
Mr. Smith's determination to adopt his own favourite lines : 
" It is a fact that Mr. Smith, when he ordered the Menai 
from me in 1829, wanted her built with hollow water lines, 
similar to the lines of his sailing yacht Menai. But there 

* Mr. Napier says elsewhere, " Mr. Smith had natural abilities 
of a very high order, with intuitive knowledge of a most varied 
and extensive kind, which, without any pretension to soieotifio ac- 
quirements, seldom, 'if ever, failed in enabling him to gain the objects 
he had in view. In everything his aim was to be the best and have 
the best." 


being no sucli tbing tben as a steamer baying boUov water 
linesy and Mr. Jobn Wood, wbo was to build tbe Teasel, 
being opposed to bollow lines, I advised Mr. Smitb, in tbis 
bis first steam-yacbt, wbicb was to cost bim a large snm, 
not to run tbe risk of any failure, but to adopt Mr. Wood's 
water lines, be being at tbat time justly esteemed for bis 
excellent taste, and for building tbe fastest steamers afloat. 
Mr. Smitb reluctantly consented to allow Mr. Wood to make 
a model according to bis own lines, witb tbe proviso tbat 
be sbould bimself make sucb alterations in tbem as be migbt 
judge best. Tbis was done; tbe line was modified by 
Mr. Smitb, and tbe vessel built otberwise wbolly according 
to bis plans. 

'^ Afler using tbis steamer for some years, be wisbed to 
encourage building vessels of iron, and ordered tbe Glowworm 
witb water lines approacbing nearer to bis long-cberisbed 
plan of bollow lines, tban tbe two MenaXB were. This 
vessel succeeded so well tbat be determined, cost bim 
wbat it migbt, be would bave a sea-going vessel built 
witb bis favourite bollow water lines. Accordingly tbe 
Fire-king was built strictly in all respects according to 
bis own plans, witb bollow lines and a flat bottom. 
After tbe Fire-king all bis otber steamers were built witb 
tbese lines.** 

In tbe very interesting account given by Mr. Napier, in 
tbe foregoing letters, we find bim fairly and bonourably 
acknowledging tbat, in planning tbese several vessels, be did 
but carry out Mr. Assbeton Smitb's designs ; and tbis is 
tbe more extraordinary as, even allowing tbat tbe latter bad 
taste and capacity tbeoretically for scientific pursuits, tbe 
practical application of bis knowledge to so intricate and 
delicate a subject as tbe construction of steam-vessels and 
tbeir arrangements would seem to bave been almost impos- 
sible. It is certain tbat long previously to tbe building of 
tbe Fi/rerkmg Mr. Smitb bad studied tbe question of resist- 
tance to tbe waves by tbe prows and keels of vessels ; and 


he used in conversation (for it was a favourite subject with 
him) to describe the diiSerence of the hollow water lines 
from the old system of ship-building, by holding his two 
hands back to back. "This," said he, "illustrates the 
hollow water-lines, whereas this," placing them palm to 
palm, and slightly bending the fingers, " exhibits the usual 
mode ; " and he added that his first conception of the prin- 
ciple had been the result of observation made by him when 
a boy at Eton. 

The question of priority in this discovery has been some- 
what warmly discussed. There is no doubt but that 
Mr. Scott Kussell obtained a prize from the Eoyal Society 
of Edinburgh, in 1838, for a paper written by him, and 
published in the Transactions of the society for the preced- 
ing year. It is no less certain that he had built an experi- 
mental iron vessel in 1835, seventy-five feet long, called the 
W<we, to test the value of " wave " lines as applicable to ship- 
building. But tiie Wave was never intended for practical 
purposes \ nor do we find, until the success of the Fire-hing^ 
in 1840 (she was laid down in 1838), was fully demon- 
strated on trial, that even so extensive and eminent a 
ship-builder, and one who could not have to wait long for 
opportunities to test the practical value of his theory, ever 
ventured to build a vessel upon the new principle. The 
fact appears to be, that the discovery of the theory dates 
antecedently to Mr. Scott BusselL Mr. Assheton Smith 
alvrays maintained that he was cognisant of it long before 
he made the experiment with the Fi/re-hing. He had, at 
all events, previously to this altered the bows of one of his 
sailing yachts, viz., the Jfewoi; and it was his confidence 
of success after this trial which induced him to risk so large 
an expenditure on the Fire-Jdng^ which, had the vessel 
been condemned, would have been almost entirely thrown 

We find, however, that as far back as 1830, the theory 
of hollow water lines was tested on the Scotch canals in 

88 BSMUriSClCKCIS, eic. 

maoli the same way as Mr. Soott Rassell afterwards ez' 
perimented. In 1830, Mr. Wood, of Port Glasgow, con- 
structed a boat for the Paisley and Ardrossan Canal, on the 
"hollow line" principle ./^^m^orc^; and in the same year 
Mr. Brown, boat-builder, of Brown Street, Glasgow, built 
two for the Clyde and Forth Canal on the same plan. This 
was four years before Mr. Scott RusseU says, in a letter 
which we now proceed to give, that he discovered the wave 
of translation. It is probable that the attention of scientific 
men had been directed to this question for some time 
before the experiments were applied to the Scotch canal 
boats ; that Mr. Assheton Smith and Mr. Scott Bussell, 
both men of great sagacity and practical talent, saw, it 
may be at the same period, but without communication 
with each other, the soundness of the theory projected. 
Mr. Scott Bussell was the author of several valuable papers, 
and built a model vessel to demonstrate the principle ; bat 
Mr. Smith was the first to show, by the example of his 
sailing yacht Mefimi and of the Fire-hmgy that the supe- 
riority of the hollow water lines was an established fact 
So little apprehensive was Mr. Smith of the failure of his 
plan, that he made public a challenge in BdCa Life, to the 
effect, that the Fvre-hmg (whose speed had not been tried at 
that time), should run against anything then afloat from off 
Dover Pier, round the Eddystone Lighthouse and back, for 
5,000 guineas, or a still higher sum if required ; the 
challenge to remain open for three months, that the Ame- 
ricans might see it, and the editor of BelVa Life referred 
to, if accepted. That challenge was not accepted, and not a 
farthing would the editor charge for inserting so gallant an 
offer. On the first trial of the Fvte-hmg in the Garloch, 
Mr. Scott Bussell was on board, and was among those who 
expressed his admiration of her lines, and of the way she 
went through the water. In 1867, Mr. Smith, hearing 
that Mr. Scott Russell had claimed what he always called 
Mb lines^ authorized Mr. Napier to ascertain upon what 


ground he rested that claim. Mr. Napier wrote according 
to Mr. Smith's direction, and the following was Mr. Scott 
Bnssell's reply : — 

" 87| Gbxat Gxoboi Stbbet, Wistminstib, 
May 6, 1857. 

** My dear Sir, — I wish you had sent me Mr. Asahetpn 
Smith's letter, as I should like to have known exactly what 
he now thinks on the subject of your letter, because his 
own statements to me personally have never amounted to 
any claim for himself of priority over me, or of my having 
taken anything from him. On the contrary, what he has 
stated to me is this, that he had long entertained a belief 
that hollow water lines were ihe best, but that he had 
never been able to try the experiment until the first trial 
of the Firer-hmg, in 1839, and this was after he had seen a 
full account of my 'lines' published in the AthefMB/mn, 
Tou, on the contrary, seem to think that I had derived my 
knowledge of the subject through being present at the trial 
of the Fvrerkingf in 1839. I am glad you have written to 
me on this subject, because you must, in your own mind, 
have been doing me great injustice in supposing that I 
learned anything at the trial of the Fire'ldng that was new 
to me ; on the contrary, I was delighted with the Fvre- 
king, as an independent proof made by other parties of 
the advantage of hollow water lines. I have therefore 
referred back to the records of my early proceedings, 
which were published at the time in the Transactions of 
the Eoyal Society of Edinburgh, and also in the accounts of 
the Proceedings of the British Association for the Advance- 
nent of Science ; and I &id the following dates established 
beyond dispute :— 

"'1834—1 discovered the wave of translation in the 
summer of 1834, and I gave an account of its nature to the 
British Association at their meeting in Edinburgh in that 
year. 1835 — I commenced the building of my first vessel 


on the w&re principle in 1834, and completed it in 1835. 
It was an iron yessel 75 feet long, and was called The 
Wave. In 1835, I tried this '* wave yessd" against three 
other vessels at equal speeds, and proved her resistance to 
be less than any of them.' I had this vessel moved at 
seventeen miles an hour and I find the following record of 
the first trial of the wave vessel in 1835 : ' It is a remark- 
able &ct, that even when deeply laden and when urged to 
a velocity of seventeen miles an hour, there is no spray, no 
foam, no surge, no head of water at the prow, but the 
water is parted smoothly and evenly asunder.' 

*' I communicated these results publicly to the meeting 
of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
at Dublin, in the following year, 1836. In this year I built 
an iron steam-vessel 120 feet long by 12 feet wide, and of 
30-horse power, on the wave lines, with numerous trans- 
verse bulk-heads, and with longitudinal stringers, and 
without frames. This vessel possessed the same qualities 
of perfectly smooth passage through the water, and of least 
resistance. From this time I made no further trials for my 
own satisfaction, but considered the wave principle esta- 
blished as a permanent truth. I reported the results to the 
meeting of the British Association, 1837. In April of this 
year, a full account of the wave principle, with drawings of 
the lines and the details of experiments, was published in 
the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1838. 
In this year the large gold medal of the Eoyal Society was 
awarded to me for the foregoing paper. Now, if you will 
be good enough to refer to the above paper, which you wiH 
find in the college library, you will there see the engraving 
of the vessel called The Wa/ve ; you will see the long 
hollow bow, the full after-lines, and the greatest section 
abaft the middle, and all the qualities of least resistance 
and of least disturbance, clearly and unmistakably given, 
along with most accurate and laborious proofe by actual 
experiment of the true measure of resistance at various 


speeds up to aeventeen miles an hour, made in 1834. 
When 70U have duly considered all this, I shall hope to 
receive from you a statement that hitherto you have done 
me less than justuse, doubtless from not possessing the 
means to verify dates. That, however, is no reason why I 
should do Mr. Assheton Smith injustice. He has informed 
me that he had for many years believed that hollow water 
lines were best. He assures me that he did so long before 
he saw any published account of my experiments. When- 
ever I have had occasion to give the history of the progress 
of the wave principle, I have mentioned Mr. Smith's con- 
struction of the Fvre-king, as a confirmation of the truth of 
the wave principle, and as having additional value from its 
being made by an independent party. In return for these 
dates I have given you, you will oblige me if you will look 
up the exact date of the first trial of the Fire-Jemg, at which 
I was present. I know it was 1839-40, but you have the 
means of being quite exact. Hoping to show you the Big 
Ship when you come to London, 

" Believe me to be most truly yours, 

" J. Scott Russell." 

This letter was forwarded by Mr. Napier to Mr. Smith, 
who returned it to him in a letter dated Tedworth, 
May 13th, 1857, in which he says, « Mr. Scott RusselFs 
letter swrprises ms excessvody^^ and proceeds to refer to the 
presence of the latter at the Fire-hmg's trial. There the 
matter rested, as far as Mr. Smith was concerned, for he 
adds, <' 1*11 take no further trouble in the matter." But an 
able letter was inserted in the Times by his friend Mr. John 
Drummond, in which Mr. Smith's claims to be considered 
the practical inventor of the hollow lines was established. 
After the death of Mr. Smith, his widow, whose sole 
interest and wish appeared to be to vindicate the memory 
of her husband from the unjust aspersions which had been 
cast upon him as regarded his general pursuits, and feeling 


that full credit had not been publicly given to him for his 
scientific improvements in ship-building, applied, only two 
months before her death, to Mr. Napier for a copy of the 
correspondence which had taken place in 1857. Hence 
Mr. Scott lElusseirs letter just cited came into the pos- 
session of the writer of this memoir, together with the one 
from Mr. Assheton Smith, from which we have just given 
an extract^ and also with a letter from Mr. Napier himself 
to Mrs. Assheton Smith, which we will now proceed to 
transcribe : — 

"West Shandon, Aih April, 1859. 
*^ Dear Mrs. Smith, — ^Your much esteemed kind letter of 
the 26th ult. I duly received, but could not till this morning 
lay my hands on the accompanying correspondence in 1857, 
regarding Mr. Scott Bussell's claims to the hollow lines of 
the Fire-kmg, There are two of the letters. I cannot find 
Mr. Smith's first letter, requesting me to write to Mr. Kussell, 
and the copy of the letter I did write. There is, however, 
enough to show your friend how matters stand with 
Mr. Scott Eussell. All that Mr. Smith says to me about 
the trial of the Fire-king, in his letter of 13th May, 1857, 
is quite true, and I am sure Mr. Lloyd, the Admiralty 
chief engineer, who was on board at the trial, would cor- 
roborate the same. Tou will notice from Mr. Scott Kussell 
that he claims the merit of the hollow lines, and that in 
1834 he had read some papers on the subject before the 
British Association, and had also had a vessel, seventy-five 
feet long by six feet broad, built and experimented upon, 
&o. All this may be true, that these Oieoretical experiments 
had been tried ; but so far as known to me, I never heard 
of a single practical result that ever flowed from these 
scientific experiments ; and although Mr. Scott Eussell 
says Mr. Smith had seen an account of his lines in the 
Athenasfwnh, I neVer heard Mr. Smith say so, except with 
great disapprobation of Mr. Eussell attempting to say the 
hollow lines were his plan. 


'^ I am certain that hollow lines were a fiivourite plan of 
Mr. Smith long before he ever built a steam-yacht ; for 
when contracting for the Menai steam-yacht, he told me 
that he had put a new bow with hollow lines on to his sailing- 
yacht the Menai, which had increased her speed greatly, 
and he wished the same kind of bow put into the steamer. 
If the plan of this new bow that was put on the Merud 
could be got from the ship-builder it would settle the 
matter at once, I think, in &vour of Mr. Smith for hollow 
lines, and that he wished them introduced into his steam- 
yachts before the Fire-kmg. On that occasion, however, 
Mr. Wood, the ship-builder, being opposed to hollow lines, 
and Mr. Smith at that time having had no experience of 
steam-vessels, gave in to Mr. Wood, and adopted the lines 
he recommended. But when Mr. Smith decided on build- 
ing the Fire-king, he resolved the lines should be hollow, 
according to his own plan, and she was built exactly 
according to his views, with sharp hollow lines. His plan 
being in opposition to anything that had been done, created 
a great sensation among ship-builders and scientific people, 
many of whom inspected the vessel while building ; and, 
singularly enough, almost everyone condemned the plan, 
and continued of that opinion till the day of her trial 
on the Garloch, when her unexpected great success changed 
not only the opinions but the practice of all connected with 
steamers ; for from that day a rapid change took place in 
the form of all steamers requiring speed, by giving them 
hollow instead of round lines, dsa From all that I know of 
these hollow lines, I am decidedly of opinion that the 
theory of them may belong to this or that person ; but that 
the practical vntroduetian and adaption of hollow toater lines 
to steamers entirely hdong to yov/r late htubamdf and cannot, 
I think, be honestly gainsaid by any one. Such being the 
£ust, I would advise that the theorists be allowed to fight 
for the honour of discovering the lines, which I know does 
not belong to Mr. Scott Eussell. If I can be of any further 

94 BEMunscENCEa, Era 

use in this matter, it would give me great pleasure to 
leceiye your commands. 

*' I am, dear Madam, 

*^ With most sincere regard, 
" Yours respectfully, 

" E. Napier." 

The following lettet* from Sir Boderick Murchison 

ascribes originality of invention to both Mr. Assheton 

Smith and Mr. Scott Bassell, and thus analyses the merits 

of each claimant : — 

"IS, BBLasATS Squabs, Nov. 2Sth, 1859. 

*• My dear Sir,— In your letter of the 5th of November, 
you seek to obtain my opinion on the scientific knowledge 
possessed by the late Mr. Thomas Assheton Smith, and par- 
ticularly as respects the discovery of the ' wave principle ' 
in ship-building, which he claimed as well as Mr. J. Scott 

" In reply, let me first say that, when my old friend and 
myself were associated in Leicestershire, about forty years 
ago, neither of us talked much on any subject save ^the 
noble science,' in the pursuit of which Tom Smith had then 
been long 'fcusU^ princeps,* 

** But when, after a quarter of a century of stone-break- 
ing on my part, our intimacy was renewed, and I visited 
him both among his slate rocks of Caernarvon and at his 
seat in Hampshire, he often proved to me in conversation, 
that he could well handle, and even master, scientific sub- 
jects after his own shrewd practical manner. 

''Among these subjects he spoke of his having been the 
first to carry out what he considered to be the wave line 
form in ship-building. His attention was, as he assured 
me, called to this form by refieding upon the simple experi- 
ment pointed out to him, when he was a boy at Eton, by 
Mr. Walker, the lecturer on natural philosophy, — ^that 
when a flat stone was thrown into the Thames it made a 
gentle curve in sinking to the bottom of the river. 


" Assuming that, in this case, tlie stone took the line of 
least resistance in water, he inferred, that the nearer he could 
approach to such a carve in the form of ships, the greater 
would be their speed. Following out his conviction he 
made, as his yachting acquaintances well know, many a 
costly experiment, and at length attained what he con- 
sidered to be perfection. 

"Whilst, however, there can be no. doubt that Mr. 
Thomas Assheton Smith worked out this result entirely 
by his own ingenuity and indomitable perseverance, it is 
now admitted, I believe, by men of science that Mr. J. 
Scott Bussell is the person who, by analysing the nature, 
forms, and movements of waves, arrived by philosophical 
induction at the correct application of the * wave principle * 
to ship-building. The peculiar form which he has applied 
to steam and sailing vessels was, in truth, the result of 
very extensive experimental investigations into the theory 
of waves and the forms of sh^s, made during many years 
at the cost of the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science ; the details of these enquiries being published in 
the Transactions of that body ; the most important reports 
having been made in the years 1837 and 1844. Even, how- 
ever, as early as 1834 Mr. Scott Bussell read a memoir on 
hydrodynamics before the Association, to show, that the 
theory of the resistance opposed by fluids to the motion of 
floating bodies was in a very imperfect state ; and in the 
following year he brought before us an account of a new 
form for the construction of ships, by which they should 
experience least resistance by the water in their passage 
through it. Again, in 1843, his views were illustrated and 
supported by 20,000 observations made on more than one 
hundred vessels of diflerent shapes, accurate drawings of all 
of which were then exhibited. 

" The principle established by these experiments led Mr. 
Scott Bussell to flx upon the wave form, or that of least 
resistance. This form, however, is not constant, and its 


contour must be varied in accordance with certain rules to 
suit the velocity required. The author then observes, 
' there is a second point in the wave system which is another 
element of its general usefulness ; it partakes of the nature 
of a mathematical maximum or minimum. It is the pecu- 
liarity of a maximum and a minimum that deviations on 
either side of it to a moderate extent occasion deviations of 
magnitude that are comparatively very small Thus it is 
that the wave line being considered the curve of least 
resistance, there are near to it an infinite number of ap- 
proximate curves which are curves of small resistance, 
though not of least resistance, and out of them the con- 
structor is free to choose those which shall best accomplish 
any other object at the sacrifice of the smallest amount of 

'* * To the scientific investigator, it gives precisely that 
latitude which he desires, to leave him free to work out 
the intentions of the owners and the uses of the ships he 
may have to build.' 

*' From what has been stated it would appear that the 
original thought and successful experiments of Thomas 
Assheton Smith, and the elaborate scientific enquiries and 
deductions applied by Scott Kussell, stand on grounds widely 
separated from each other. 

'* Believe me to be, dear Sir, 
" Yours very truly, 


*' F.S. — ^Being wholly unskilled in ship-building, I cannot 
say anything on the hollow lines of Mr. Assheton Smith's 
vessels, on which he much prided himself" 

This question of the '' lines " has occupied a considerable 
space, but is valuable as illustrating the character of Mr. 
Smith, and the inflexible firmness of purpose and self- 
reliance with which he prosecuted his plans. What remains 


to be told is even more remarkable. He was the originator 
of the gun-boats now generally introduced into the English 
and French Naides. Had Mr. Smith's advice and sugges- 
tions been taken advantage of when first offered, we should 
not have presented the absurd spectacle we did, when lying 
helplessly idle off Cronstadt during the Eussian war. 

Some years ago, when the Duke of Wellington was stay- 
ing at Tedworth, Mr. Smith communicated to the great 
Captain his notions respecting gun-boats. The Duke 
listened, as he always did, with attention to the squire's 
remarks, but gave no opinion at the time respecting the 
subject of them. Next morning, as they were both walking 
on the terrace after breakfast, the Duke said, " Smith, I have 
been thinking that there is a good deal in what you said 
last night about those gun-boats, and I should advise your 
writing to the First Lord of the Admiralty," then Lord 

, which advice Mr. Smith accordingly followed, but 

received no answer. Some time after, when walking down 
Regent Street, he met the First Lord, whom he knew person- 
ally, and asked him, in the course of conversation, if he had 
received his letter containing suggestions for the introduc- 
tion of gun-boats. The First Lord replied that he had, but 
that the Admiralty could not pay attention to all the 
recommendations made to them. Upon this, Mr. Smith 
took off his hat, and turning away from him with a stately 
bow, observed, " What his Grace the Duke of Wellington 
has considered worthy of attention, I think your Lordship 
might at least have condescended to notice." 

Yet within ten years from this interview, a fleet of our 
formidable " vixen craft " successfully traversed the ocean, 
and did good service in Ohina. Little perhaps did the 
spectators, who proudly gazed not long since upon the 
goodly swarm of those dark hulls at Spithead, know that 
the projector of them was a fox-hunter, and that to a fox- 
hunter^s clear head and flax-seeing eye was the gallant 
Wildman mainly indebted for **the single little vessel" 


98 REMjmacmcB&, Era 

(the Staunch) with which he demolished four large junks in 
the Chinese seas. Yet it has been said that Mr. Smith was 
a fox-hunter and nothing more. The verdict of true 
Englishmen will be very different. His motto in manjr 
pursuits wasy '* Deeds not words." He did not make long 
speeches for the good of his country, but many a record 
of silent worth will place him high on the list of its 



" Bttnnt eqnites et odora caomn ▼is.*'— .ViRO. 
" Veteria stat gratia &cti.*'— ViBO. 

Fbom 1830 to 1856 — ynz. to the period of rather less 
than two years before his death — Mr. Smith continued to 
hunt his hounds regularly at Tedworth, generally untH the 
latter end of March, when the heat and the London season 
made him hang up his hunting-whip till the autumn. His 
summers he spent either at Yaenol, or on board his yacht 

In 1840; he went into Lincolnshire on a yisit to Sir 
Eichard Sutton, who had for some time been disabled from 
following his favourite sport by a severe accident. He was 
requested by Mr. Greene of Bolleston, one of his best pupils 
in his Leicestershire days, to take his hounds once more 
into his old country on his way thither, Mr. Hodgson, who 
then hunted that country, placing the best fixture at his 
disposal in the handsomest manner, Mr. Smith accepted 


tlie inTitation, and it would be vain to endeavour to com* 
memorate adequately the scene wbich took place when he 
met the field at Shankton Holt on Friday the 20th of 
March. More than two thousand horsemen were assembled 
on the occasion. Men of the highest birth and station, 
men who had serred their country in deeds of most daring 
gallantry by sea and land, men who in political or social 
life were the most brilliant in repute, thronged to do 
honour to the first fox-hunter of the day. They had come 
from remote counties, and were pouring in along the gras^ 
slopes and vales, or skirting the well-known gorse covers. 
As Dick Christian remarked, '' the first lot were at Shank- 
t<m Holt when the tail end wem't out of Bolleston gate&" 
Cold must have been the heart of him who could behold 
without emotion the crowds of grey-headed horsemen 
hurrying forward to shake hands with their old friend and 
fellow-sportsman, each calling vividly to memory some 
scene where he had acted the most conspicuous part More 
than twenty years had rolled away since he had resigned 
the lead in that magnificent country. There had been 
splendid riders since his day ; and while time had thinned 
the ranks of the veterauE^ younger men had either achieved 
or were achieving &me — Frank Holyoake^ now Sir Francis 
Groodricke — ^well known for lus splendid feats on Brilliant 
— Colonel Lowther, Lord Wilton, Lord Ardiibald St Maur, 
George Payne, Little Gilmour, Lord Gardner, Geoige 
Anson {nejno ex hoc rnimero mihi wm dofuxku dUbit), and a 
host of sportsmen well deserving of the reputation they had 
won in many a fearless exploit by " flood and field," but 
who were strangers to the doings of this hero of the Quom, 
except through anecdotes familiar to them as ''household 

Of Sir Francis Goodricke, the first mentioned of these 
distinguished sportsmen, the author of ''Silk and Scarlet" 
thus speaks : — 

" He was first man at one time for a twenty minutes* 


thing, was Mr. Hoi joake. To see him ride Brilliaat, shoving 
the fox along ! This horse was a rich dark chestnut ; sach 
a countenance, such an eye ; he had him from Newmarket." 

Sir Harry Goodricke, Sir Vincent Cotton, and Mr. Holy- 
oake lived together at Quorn, and were called " The Sporting 
Triumvirate." Mr. Holyoake succeeded by will to the entire 
property of his brother-sportsman, Sir H. Goodricke, whose 
name he took, and was afterwards created a baronet. He 
himself rode Young Sheriff for several seasons. Clinker 
originally belonged to him, but was subsequently bought by 
Captain Eoss. Sir Francis Goodricke has long since lefb 
the hunting-field under the influence of deep and very sincere 
religious impressions ; the zeal which uniformly displayed 
itself with such ardour in his case in the pursuit of a favourite 
diversion, is now directed with even greater strength and 
intensity into a far higher and nobler channel. 

In the meantime the hounds were there, as fine a pack 
as in days of yore, when the squire's well-known " Hold 
hard ! " or his more emphatic " Hi, hi ! " * checked those 
who pressed on too eagerly to the front. After some little 
delay a fox was found, but the finest huntsman in the world 
could never have hunted him. The whole country for miles 
around was studded with men and horses, the people having 
thronged on foot from all parts to see so grand a spectacle. 
What must have been the feelings of him to whom this 
cordial and memorable greeting was given? As far as 
hunting went, he for once had no sport; but deeply touched 
and gratified with his reception, he made light of the dis- 
appointment, and, as Dick Christian observed, " was quiet 
throughout the day." It was a great holiday, and as such 
written with red ink in the sportsman's calendar, and ever 

* It is said, in allusion to Mr. Smith's manner, which on this day 
was somewhat subdued by the warm greeting of his friends, that Mr. 
Haines, an old sportsman who always looked after Glen Gorse, 
remarked, " Ah, Uiere is the old Hi, hi ! bat, alas ! the hempkaais is 


afterwards mentioned with delight and enthusiasm by the 
old stagers of the Quomdon, the Pytchley, the Cottesmore, 
Atherstone, and every county for fifty miles round. Many 
of these had followed him when leading the van over 
Leicestershire, or had ridden by his side in the front rank 
with the Pytchley, in Northamptonshire. The lines written 
on one of the best of his hunters were not yet forgotten : 

" On A)&Xf a nag well in Leicestershire known. 
See tbe gallant Tom Smith make a line of his own : 
Thoagb in dirt fetlock deep, be ne'er dreams of a fall, 
And in mounting tbe hill, why be passes them all/' 

They called to mind also the far-famed exploits of Dick 
Knight, when each country drew its parallel between its 
favourite huntsman. Perhaps a little of the ancient 
jealousy still remained, well described in the following 
couplets, which referred to the squire's father, who 
hunted with the Pytchley ; but on this day, at all events, 
" the renowned Tom " was incontestably without a rival : 

" Now Dick Knigbt and Smith Assbeton we spy in the van. 
Biding hard, like two Furies, to catch as catch can ; 
' Now, Egmont ! ' says Assbeton ; ' Now, Contract 1 ' says Dick, — 
'By Jove ! those proud Quornitea shall now see the trick.' " 

That such a compliment should have been paid to the 
quondam master of the Quom is the more remarkable, as 
he cannot be said to have been altogether personally popular 
either in Leicestershire or generally in the hunting-field. 
There is no doubt that he wanted the " stiavit^r in modo " 
•which commended the leadership of Lord Foley, Mr. Mey- 
nell, Sir Bellingham Graham,* Sir Harry Goodricke, and 
others ; and therefore by those who did not know the 
sterling qualities of the head and heart which were encased 

* Sir Bellingham Graham always called a bad seat " a wash-ball 
seat ; " from a round piece of soap, which is always slipping aboat in a 
wasbhand-basin. Beeswax, Paid, and Jerry were three of his best 

102 junmnsGEircsi^ isra 

in this somewhat rongh exterior, he had been more admired 
than liked. ^ Was, then, the great gathering at Eolleston,'' 
asks Nimrod, '* a compliment paid to Mr. Smith ezdnsiTely, 
or, in part, to the noble diversion of fox-hunting f ** ^ To 
Mr. Smith entirely," he replies, nnhesitatingly, to his own 
question. ^It was a spontaneous testimony to the pre- 
eminence of an individual, and a day appointed to do him 
honour, rather than the public celebration of a national 

Dick Burton gives a characteristic account of this grand 
event. "In the year 1840 I left Tedworth with Mr. 
Assheton Smith's hounds for the great day at Rolleston. I 
went to Mr. Drake's kennel the first day. On the second, 
I arrived at Mr. Hodgson's kennel, at Oadby, with the 
hounds. On Friday, the 20th March, met at Rolleston. 
The day was almost a failure as far as scent went. We did 
not find a fox until four o'clock, and then the scent was 
bad : one hour and twenty minutes, and we lost him, 
pointing for Kockingham Castle. Upwards of two thousand 
people were out, and among them Prince Ernest, brother to 
the Prince Consort (he had come over from Deane, the seat 
of the Earl of Cardigan). There never was such a glorious 
meet, and never will be again. One little incident I will 
mention. The horse, Antwerp, which Mr. Smith intended 
to ride, got some skin knocked off his hips going by the 
train. I told Mr. Smith of the accident, as he was dis- 
figured. He said, 'I will ride him and no other; can't 
you get some paint of the same colour ? ' So I did, and 
painted the place, and he did ride the horse that day. I 
rode a grey horse, called Jem Crow, which Mr. Smith 
bought out of the New Forest. On Saturday, the 21st, I 
went to Sir R Sutton's kennel, at Buxton, with the hounds. 
We hunted ^ve times, and killed four foxes. On Tuesday, 
April the 7th, the Duke of Butland gave Mr. Smith a day 
in his country. We met at Eopsley Rice Wood, and had a 
very good day, but did not kill On Thursday, the 9th, I 

DICK button's kabrative. 103 

went with the hoands to Lord Lonsdale's kennel, at Cottes- 
more : he gave Mr. Smith one day. On Saturday, the 
11th, we met at Owston Wood, and had a good day's sport, 
but got beaten. We had very large fields out every day. 
On Monday, the 13th, I started with the hounds back to 
Mr. Drake's kennel ; and on the 14th reached Tedworth. 
I had not much rest." 

Dick Barton adds the following particulars respecting his 
master^s and his own career in Leicestershire : '' I lived 
with Mr. Smith at Quom ten years. I left him before he 
left Quom. I then went to live with Mr. Osbaldeston, and 
stayed with him twelve years ; and then Z came back again 
to Mr. Smith at Penton** I lived with him altogether 
twenty-two years. The following horses were Mr. Smith's 
&vountes when he hunted Leicestershire : — Minister, 
Lazarus, Tom Thumb, Bobin Hood, Shacabac, Gift, 
Ag<mistes, Penknife, Gadsby, Newmarket, Old Jack-o*Lan- 
tffln. Young J^-o'Lantem, Fitch, and Charlotte Lantern. 
I do not know what were his best horses in Lincolnshire. 
There has not been so good a sportsman at Quom since Mr. 
Smith left, although Mr. Osbaldeston was a first-rate sports- 
man, and I think had one of the best packs of hounds I 
ever saw or followed over any country : they were as stout 
as the day was long, there was no tiring them. The gr^ 
horse that I Stand by, in the picture painted by Mr. Eer- 
neley, was called The Big Grey. In Mr. Ferneley's small 
picture at Tedworth, my brother Will is without his eoat, 
and I think stands wiUi a pair of couples in his hand. 
Manager t (the hound with him) was heavier than Bill 
was at the time. 

* Dick Barton first eame to Mr. Smidi in 1807, when quite a lad. 
He once met with a severe accident, a gentleman and his horse coming 
violently in contact with him, just as he was dose upon his fox. 

t " Manager was so fast a hound, that they buckled a shot-bdt round 
his nedL and filled him three parts full of boiled lights, but he defied 
them and thmr haodioapa.''— (£fifi(; and JSearlO, p. 2S0.) Mr. Ferneley 


The Bill here spoken of is Will Barton, who died at 
Quorn, of consumption, soon after the picture was painted 
bj Mr. Femeley. Mr. Smith set great store upon the lad, 
as of great promise, and used to say, observes the author of 
'* Silk and Scarlet," that, as he looked year after year at 
Will's figure in the picture, in the ante-room at Tedworth, 
he would have given XI 0,000 to save him. 

An interesting account of the grand day at Eolleston was 
furnished by ^^ The Adelphi " to the Sportmg McLgazme, oi 
June, 1840 (vol. xxi. 2nd series), though tlie Brothers make 
a trifling mistake in saying that it had occurred on the 20th 
April Dick Burton's account is more correct in placing 
the date at the 20th March ; for, after several days in di£fe>- 
rent counties, he says he brought the pack back to Ted- 
worth on the 7th April, 1840. It could not very well be 
on the 7th May, and we know that Mr. Smith very seldom 
took his hounds out after Lady-day. On the celebrated day 
at RoUeston, a person counted 1,700 horsemen through one 
gate alone. Out of the 2,000 that arrived, one-third were 
in pink. In addition to these, there was a very goodly dis- 
play of carriages-and-four filled with ladies, besides pedes- 
trians without number. The hounds with Dick Burton 
were drawn up on the lawn, while the vast group of horse- 
men formed a circle, with the carriages and assembled 
crowd outside. Mr. Smith had brought eighteen couple of 
his best hounds, all being, as "The Adelphi" observe, "of 
great substance, particularly in the legs, open-chested, and 
in splendid condition." The greeting between Mr. Smith 
and his old friends the farmers was most cordial. Mrs. 
Assheton Smith accompanied her husband on this visit. 

mentioned his having in 1815 painted Will Barton, who, he aays, was a 
wonderful boy at bounds, with Manager, perhaps " the finest hound 
he ever painted." Manager was afterwards drafted and sent to Ireland 
to the late Lord Lismore, then Mr. O'Callaghan. Mr. Ferneley, who 
was one of our best painters of sporting subjects, has died at a good old 
age, since the publication of the second edition of these Remioisoenoes. 


After the friendly salutations were over — and their enthu- 
mastic character astonished no one bat the Illustrious 
Stranger present* — ^Mr. Smith took his hounds to Shankton 
Holtjt where he drew only the bottom of the covert ; 
thence to Norton Gorse, Stanton Wood, Glooston Wood, 
and Fallow Close, all blank. It was an unfavourable day 
for scent, a bright sun, with north-easterly wind, not a 
cloud to be seen, and the cold intense. A fox having been 
found by Mr. Hodgson, in Yowes Covert, as already stated, 
away went the hounds towards Horringhold, leaving 
Blaston to the right. Here Mr. Smith took a strong flight 
of rails into a road, quite like a '' young un.** The fox soon 
afterwards crossed the Welland, and went away for Rocking- 
ham Park, where, it being late, they whipped off. " We 
never saw," observe " The Adelphi," " a handier pack, one 
more completely under the command of their huntsman, or 
quicker in getting to him at a cast." Of Mr. Smith's 
horses, they remark : " they were large and powerful, ex- 

* Prince Ernest of Saxe Coburg. 

+ "Mr. Smith" (says the author of "Silk and Scarlet") "was 
wonderfully fond of Shankton Holt. I have seen him get away from 
it with three foxes in one day : it was a great nursery for them in his 
time. He liked Staunton Wood and Langton Caudle uncommonly ; he 
always said the wildest foxes lay there — away directly. He used to say 
that an hour and a half from Widmerpool to Blackberry Hill, near 
BeWoir^ slap across the vale, was one of the best runs he ever had in 
Leicestershire."— iStM; cmd Scarlet, p. 68. 

The same writer also relates this singular freak of a fox : " When 
Mr. Smith was at Bel voir, in 1840, with his hounds, he ran a fox 
through Ingoldsby, Osgodby Coppice, Truham Park Wood, and Nor- 
wood, right to Grimsthorpe Oaks. Will Goodall, who was then the 
duke's huntsman, gets into the wood, and sees the fox in one of the 
rides. Off he slipped quietly to Mr. Smith and told him. He was 
casting across the park. When Will brought the hounds, blame me if 
the fox was not standing there, still waiting for him. Mr. Smith came 
to the spot and saw him too : it would be four minutes, and he had 
never stirred. I never had heard of such a thing, and Dick Burton 
and Will told me the same."—- iSi^ and ScwrUi, p. 63. 

106 wsunsnacENCEB, xxa 

tremely well suited to the country, and getting cleverly over 
every description of fence, but did not show the blood we 
diould have thought requisite to gallop over the Hamp- 
shire Downs." Doubtless Mr. Smith, who was fiimiliar with 
both countries, had selected the horses for his Leicestershire 
and Lincolnshire visits which he well knew to be best 
suited to the requirements of each country. 

Mr. Greene,* of Rolleston, whose guest Mr. Smith was on 
this occasion, had frequently followed him close in Leicester- 
shire, and was a pupil every way worthy of his master. 
An excellent run has been recorded by the author of *' Silk 
and Scarlet,*' from Botany Bay, skirting the Coplow, but 
without touching it, when they killed the fox in a field nesr 
a covert at Schlawson windmill ; the distance was thirte^i 
miles. Mr. Smith rode Gadsby, and Mr. Edge, Gayman. 
Besides these two, only Mr. Greene, on Sysonby, and 
Fryatt, of Melton, on Hastings, were up. Mr. Smith 
pulled his watch out, and five minutes elapsed before any 
other horseman was up. Fryatt sold Hastings the next 
day for 400 guineas. "On another day," says Dick 
Christian, *' Mr. Greene's borse, Sysonby, gave Mr. Smith 
and Shacabac a rare showing up in the Harborough 
country ; it was a strange, wild day ; they found in a patch 
of wild gorse near Gumley. The wind blew the scent, and 
the hounds flashed over it. Mr. Smith rode Gadsby first, 
and then Shacabac. They had an hour and twenty minutes, 
racing all the way : there was only himself and Mr. 
Greene left. All on a sudden Shacabac starts a grunting 
and stops. Mr. Greene got off Sysonby, and said, ' You 
get on my horse, they are running to their fox.' On Mr. 
Smith went with Sysonby, and just at that time Mr. 
Greene fell in with Gadsby, and got on him and finished. 
There they were at the kill, with the same horses they had 

* This excellent and highly respected sportsman has died since the 
second edition of these Beminisoenoes was published. 


started on, only riders cban^d." Mr. Grreene was the 
first noHve master of hoands in Leioestershire. 

In 1845, the state of Mrs. Smith's health causing her 
husband great anxiety, he was apprehensive of being 
obliged to take her to a foreign climate for the winter. 
Both were, however, unwilling to leave a s^ot wh^re each 
had so many objects of interest and enjoyment : he his 
&vourite sport, and she her schods, her poor, and the 
management of the house and grounds, the details of 
wbich, at Tedworth, Mr. &nxth intrusted entirely to her. 
The squire, therefore, determined to bring Madeira to 
England, rather than be obliged to r^air to the former in 
<piest of health ; with this view be erected a magnificent 
eonservatory, 315 feet in length, and 40 feet in width, 
where, with a temperature always raised to a certain heat, 
Mrs. Smith might take walking exercise during the winter 
months. A Wiltshire farmer, on first seeing this building, 
observed, he supposed the squire had it made in order to 
hunt there wh^i a frost stopped him in the field. Along 
the whole length of this Crystal Palace in miniature was a 
broad walk laid with the finest gravel, and ranged on each 
side were thousands of the most beautiful plants, remarkable 
«ven at Christmas time for the richness of their hues, and 
their fragrance. The conservatory is approached from an 
ante-room of the house by a corridor, glazed on one side, 
«nd 965 ieet in length, Ibrming, with the conservatory, 
nearly a quarter of a mile of glass, and warmed tiiroughout 
with double pipes containing hot water. It was a melan- 
^oly spectacle to see the squire the winter before his 
death, when he could no longer join his hounds, mount one 
of his favDurites — Euzine, Paul Potter, or Blemish — wUh. 
itbe assistance of a chair, and take his exercise for an hour 
at a loot's pace up and down this conservatory, often with 
some friend at his side to cheer bim up^ and wile away the 
time until he re-«ntered the house, for he was not allowed 
at that period to go out of doors. Even in iMs feeble con- 


dition, quantum mutatus ab iUo Hectare, once on horse- 
back lie appeared to revive ; and the dexterity and ease 
with which he managed, like a plaything, the spirited 
animal nnder him, which had scarcely left its stable for 
months, was most surprising. 

Before the conservatory, however, was bailt, in 1845, 
on account of the health of Mrs. Smith, her husband him- 
self, vigorous and hardy as he was, had been overtaken by 
indisposition. He was occasionally subject to attacks of 
asthma, for which he had tried homoeopathy, under Dr. 
Quin. In 1834, ^' Dashwood," in the Sporting Magasxne 
(September, 1834), speaking of him "as the most extra- 
ordinary huntsman perhaps whom England had ever pro- 
duced," adds that he was at that time "in indifferent health, 
and not again expected to be able to take the field." 
Nevertheless, in the following year, when the great run 
took place from Amesbnry to Salisbury Plain, he must have 
been in a great measure restored. In 1843, the fame of the 
founder of the water-cure, Vincent Preissnitz, had reached 
England ; and Mr. Smith having read Captain Claridge's 
account of the cures performed by hydropathy, consulted 
Dr. Weiss, who had studied the treatment under Preissnitz, 
at Grafenberg, and was now in England, conducting an 
establishment ibr patients at Stansted Bury, in Herts. His 
own account of the relief he derived £rom the water-cure 
has somewhat of the &bulous about it. He used to relate, 
that he went to bed labouring under a severe attack of 
asthma, and having received directions from Weiss to wrap 
round his chest the wet bandage, or vmechlag (since so cele- 
brated in assuaging pain and in healing sores), which he 
accordingly did, he slept soundly, notwithstanding the chill 
which the damp application first occasioned, and in the 
morning he jumped up with the exclamation that his 
asthma was gone, and that he was perfectly cured. From 
this time Mr. Smith became an enthusiastic follower of 
Pteissnitz ; he not only carried out the treatment in his 


own person, barring his three or four glasses of good sherry, 
which he never abandoned, but he seduloasly recommended 
the -water-care to every safierer within his reach. The 
writer was one of those whom he urged to submit to the 
discipline, and he has never seen cause to repent of it 
Many instances occurred, where persons in the lower class 
of life were without adequate means to leave their homes 
or business in order to carry out the treatment ; these Mr. 
Smith generously furnished with the necessary funds for 
that purpose. He was so convinced of the merits of 
hydropathy, that he introduced it into his stables, and used 
to have his horses sheathed in wet bandages after a severe 
run, or when any symptoms of swelling or disease showed 
themselve& His own habit was, after hunting, to undress 
and go to bed for an hour, or until dressing time, and then 
go into his bath, b}'- which process he was thoroughly invi- 
gorated and refreshed. One day, during the height of his 
zeal for hydropathy, he was returning with a friend across 
the downs from hunting, after a fine run and a '' whoop," 
when he fell in with a shepherd who was ministering some 
nostrum to a sick ewe. *' What is the. matter with that 
sheep 1 " inquired the squire. " Giddy, Sir," was the reply. 
** If you would just try the effect of cold water on her, she 
would soon recover.*' " Cold water," sneered the rustic (as 
Mr. Smith rode off), " why what on earth else has she been 
drinking ever since she were waned?" (weaned). But, 
although an ardent disciple of hydropathy-*and we have 
seen that in that very year, 1843, he christened a sailing 
yacht by the name of **The Water-cure" — he used to 
relate with great zest an anecdote respecting the treatment, 
which, as it was concerning a fox-hunter, may not here be 

The story goes that a lover of the chase who was some- 
what addicted to the pleasures of the table, and loved more 
glasses of port wine than was quite good for him, consulted a 
hydropathic Galen respecting some symptoms in his "kitchen 

110 VBamBcxscsBf sic. 

department'* which vere beginning to give him fdarm. The 
doctor recommended the application of the wet bandage to 
his stomach at bedtime^ there to remain until the following 
morning, adding, " I will see you to-morrow, when I shall 
be better able to judge of jour symptoms^" At ni^t the 
patient, having saturated the folds of linen in oold spring 
water, began the application as directed, bat the shock to 
his internal economy being greater than he had bargained 
for, he bethought himself of taking off the chill by re- 
dipping the bandage into water in which there was a cer- 
tain portion of his £Eivourite beverage. Having thus made 
things rathm: more comfortable, he awaited the doctor's 
visit the next morning. '^Show me your bandage," was 
almost the learned man's first exclamation. It was no 
sooner produced than the doctor regarded its discolora- 
tions for a moment with feelings of lively satisfaction, and 
then solemnly addressing his patient, who had some diffi- 
culty in retaining his gravity, exclaimed, ^ I thought so. 
Sir, this is the port you have drunk for the last twenfy yeara 
coming out." But, although the squire loved this story, 
he was always a very staunch advocate of the water-cure;,, 
which he said could well bear a laugh against it. He 
was sixty-seven years of age when he first tried it, and 
must have had no common vigour, but indeed the constitu- 
tion of a man in the prime of life, for it to have done him 
the good which it effected. He used to say that till he became 
a hydropathist he hunted four days a week, and six after- 
wards. On these two days thus added to his meets, Garter, 
his huntsman, used to hunt with a separate pack ; and some- 
times, when master and man talked over their day's sport 
together in the evening, the squire used to say, ^ Well, you 
can give a better account of your fox than I can of mine^'* 
for he never grudgingly gave credit where credit was due. 

The 3rear 1845 is memorable as having witnessed the 
innumerable schemes of railway enterprise which terminated 
in the ruin of thousands. Among the lines projected was 


one intended to run from Worcester through Montgomery- 
ahire and Merionethshire to Porthdynllaen, a harbour well 
situated on the Carnarvobshire coast, not far from PwlhelL 
The advantages possessed by Porthdynllaen as a port of 
departure for Ireland had not escaped the penetrating ob- 
servation of Mr. Smithy and although the commissioners 
appointed to examine the harbours on the Welsh coast had 
reported in fitvour of Holyhead, he still remained convinced 
of the superiority of the former ; while he ascribed its rejec- 
tion to the working of undue influence. With this conviction, 
and also foreseeing that the line would open up the mineral 
and other resources of the principality, hitherto very im- 
perfectly developed, he warmly espoused the design of the 
Worcester and Porthdynllaen Eailway, to which he promised 
every assistance in his power, furnishing the promoters with 
an introduction to the leading landowners in North Wales, 
and allowing his name to appear in the prospectus as a 
patron of the imdertaking. At the same time he was waiy 
enough not to join the Provisional Committee. The line 
was duly surveyed, and, except a very formidable tunnel at 
Llangunnog, looked very well on the ordnance map. 
Scarcely, however, had the plans and sections been deposited 
— and those who remember the 1st of November, lS^5y 
will not forget the difficulties under which this was accom- 
plished — ^when the panic set in ; and the Worcester and 
Porthdynllaen, with, we venture to say, hundreds of other 
schemes, went to the bottom. A month or two later there 
were sundry little bills to be paid, the claims of engineers 
and their staff (in those days a surveyor could not be got 
under five guineas a day), solicitors, dec. Few of the Pro- 
visional Committee of the Porthdynllaen line were worth 
powder and shot ; but the limb of the law, anxious to " bag" 
bis costs, considered Assheton Smith as well worth the 
experiment of a charge. He, therefore, sent his son, a youth 
of about twenty years of age, who also acted as his clerk, to 
Hyde Park Gardens^ to serve the squire with a writ for 


work and laboar done b^ him the attomej for him the squire 
aforesaid. Mr. Smith's footman, hearing that the bearer of 
the hostile missive had something important to commani- 
cate to his master, introduced him into his private study, 
when Mr. Smith, on hearing the object of his message, 
under the influence of irritated feelings at the annoyance, 
immediately knocked him down. The young man was glad to 
effect his exit from the wrathful old gentleman of sixty- 
nine, and sent him a summons to appear at Marylebone 
Police Court for the assault on the following day. Mr. Smith, 
upon receiyiug this, went to the Temple to consult a friend 
learned in the law upon the subject of his appearance before 
the magistrate. After hearing the squire's story, which he 
with difficulty got through, being somewhat out of breath 
with indignation at being called upon for payment, and with 
having to mount four pair of stairs in order to reach the 
lawyer's sanctum, the expounder of Blackstone on the rights 
of persons ventured to suggest to him that he had some- 
what exceeded the bounds of decorum, and asked whether 
it would not be advisable, considering Mr. Smith's position 
in society, to offer the attorney's clerk a flve-pound note 
and get him to withdraw the summons. Upon this counsel 
being tendered to him, the squire's anger, which had been 
hitherto kept under with some effort, burst forth, and look- 
ing up at the ceiling, to the astonishment of the man of 
law, he exclaimed, " Good God, Sir, your chambers let in 
the rain !" The fsuct was, that in the plenitude of his ire 
the perspiration trickled in large drops over his face, and 
this he mistook for the moisture of the heavens. Precipi- 
tately leaving the chambers, he flEM^ed the charge next day 
befoi*e Mr. Broughton, nearly committed a second assault, 
was fined five pounds, and appeared on a subsequent morn- 
ing in the columns of the Morning Post, under the heading 
of " An ira-te Provisional" 

The above anecdote proves that Mr. Smith occasionally 
gave way to his temper. He used to say that ** his father 

THE squire's hasty TEMPER. 113 

was the worst-tempered man in the world except himself;" 
but in this saying he was a little hard upon both. In the 
hunting-field as a master of hounds he had many things to 
contend against : sometimes against the wilful perrerseuess, 
sometimes the ignorance, of men who headed or rode over 
his hounds ; sometimes the expressions of envy on the part 
of those whose riding he eclipsed, or whose want of nerve 
made them follow while he led. On these occasions it is not 
to be wondered at if he was unable to curb his temper. 
An instance of this sort once occurred on the borders of 
the Fytchley country, when a well-known parson, who had 
the misfortune to be rather deaf, came through a hedge (and 
be was afraid of very few) plump into the middle of the 

bounds. Smith called out, " Hold hard, T 1 you can't 

bear and you iwm'^ see." The reverend sportsman was not 
so hard of hearing as to fail in understanding the squire, 
who always uttered what he did say pretty audibly; he 
pulled up his horse, and -knowing that he had committed an 
error, at once made an apology for it.* 

But although Mr. Smith was somewhat choleric and 
impetuous, his ebullitions of temper were soon over, and he 
always in a truly generous spirit hastened to make amends 
where he felt that he had been wrong. He was like his 
favourite Horace: Ir(i8dceler,tamentUplaccMli8e88et. In the 
instance of the attorney's clerk he consided that an attempt 
to extort money from him was made under the guise and 
menace of legal proceedings, and this he resented though in 
an improper manner. Once when he hunted Lincolnshire, 

* Mr. Meynell, to whom allusion has already been made as the 
foremost sportsman of his day, adopted the following adroit method of 
veproTing the eagerness of gentlemen riding too forward : he would put 
up his whip in a peculiar way, and immediately one of his whippers-in, 
taking the hint, would gallop alongside the delinquent. Thereupon 
Meynell would lash out at his servant, rating him for pressing the 
hounds, and having his eyes on his breeches-pockets. The well-applied 
rebuke was heard and felt by the fast gentleman, and his further spoiliog 
the day's sport prevented. 


and his hounds had drawn Kettlethorpe Wood, belongmg 
to Sir William Ingleby, without finding a fox, Mr. Smith 
observed a man at a gate, in a shooting-jacket and with a 
gnn over his shoulder, who opened it for him, and at whom, 
taking him to be the gamekeeper and imagining him to 
have been beating the covert, he railed in no measm:«d 
terms, saying he would tell his master of the blank which 
had occurred. The man listened quietly to the squire and 
touched his hat. Afber they had got through and were 
trotting off to Lee Wood, belonging to Sir Charles Ander- 
son, at no great distance, Mr. TJppleby said to Mr. Smithy 
"Do you know. who that was^' "No, indeed,'* was the 
reply, "and I don't care.". When told that it was Sir 
William himself, and that he was merely passing through 
the wood in which he strictly preserved foxes, on his way 
to his shooting grounds, Mr. Smith was anxious to' go back 
and apologise ; but his friends said there was no occasion 
for this, for Sir William, they observed, was rather eccentric, 
and would be amused at being taken for one of his keepers. 

Afber Mr. Smith gave up the Burton country, he resided 
in the Yale for several seasons, being frequently the guest 
of the Duke of Butland, and joining the various packs in the 
neighbourhood from Belvoir Castle. ''Tve known him,** 
says Dick Christian,* " come all the way from Belvoir to 
Gumley of a morning, two and thirty miles, to cover, and* 
back again at night." To accomplish these long distances 
he was up early at the castle and break&sted alone. On 
one occasion he was not satisfied with the breakfast pre- 
pared for him, and complained to the footman who waited 
that he did not think he had the attention given to him to 
which he was entitled. The duke's servant received the 
rebuke in silence, but on the following morning, when the 
sportsman came down to breakfast, he was surprised to see 
all the footmen in the castle enter the room in their state 

♦ "SUk and Scarlet," p. 67. 


liveries, and take their station around the table. The dnke, 
to whom his gtiest'a c(Hnplaint had been reported, feeling 
satisfied that eyeiy proper attention had been paid to 
Mr. Smith) for whom he always entertained a sincere regard, 
took this significant mode of reproving^ his testj humour. 
At another time he complained of the scarcity of muffins, 
upon which the servants received orders, when next the 
guests assembled at the breakfast table, to pour in upon 
him a perpetual stream of muffins. Each footman, in tur^ 
accordingly presented to the bewildered squire an unceasing 
succession of hot plates, the chorus being, " Muffins, Mr. Smith." 
Until Mr. Smith had reached his eightieth year, which he 
did in May, 18d6, he showed no signs of physical or mental 
decay. His head was as dear and his hand as firm as they 
had been twenty years before. If he felt himself not qaite 
well of a morning, he used to plunge his head into cold 
water and hold it there as long as he could. This, he 
8»d, always put him to lighta He had returned to four 
day»' hunting in the week, it is true ; but on these days the 
farmers were delighted to see him vault on horseback as 
usual, and gallop down the sheepfed hill-sides with all the 
joyous alacrity of a boy of e^hteen. 

" You yet might see the old man io a morning'. 
Lusty as health, come ruddy to the field. 
And then pursue the chase." — Otwat. 

This enduring diaracter of his riding is what renders it so 
essentially different from that of other men. He was iridll 
the same Assheton Smith, who had hunted in the last cen- 
taxy; who had, for neariy fifty years^ been a master oi 
hounds ; who had actually been in the saddle for a period 
of seventy years — the ordinary term of man's life — who 
might have hunted with Pitt and Fox, had they been sports- 
men — and who had outlived three generations of fox-hun- 
ters. With most other men the best of the spirit dies, or 
at all events waxes somewhat £unt, when the prime of 



active manhood has past. It seemed never to desert Tom 
Smith. That adamantine frame, the rdbwr et cm triplex 
circa pectus, appeared proof, not only against fiaitigae, but 
against heavy falls which would have shaken younger men 
all to pieces. Only two years before his death, on his 
return from a hard run, he was telling some ladies that 
he had encountered three M\a on that day, and felt none 
the worse for it. " Then, Mr. Smith,** said one of them, 
"you ought, when you die, to bequeath your skin to the 
British Museum to be stuffed, as a particularly tough 
specimen ;" an idea at which the squire laughed heartily. 
At another time, as he lay on the ground after a tremendons 
purler, a sympathising friend rode up and expressed a hope 
that he was not hurt. " Thank you," said the squire, not 
very gratefiil for his inquiry, as the hounds were in full 
swing at some distance from the spot, " nothing ever hurts 
Tom Smith." 

''The last great run Mr. Smith was in," says Dick 
Christian,* " was one of an hour and forty minutes, seven 
or eight seasons since, from Ham Ashley to Hungerford ; 
and he was so pleased with the chestnut he rode, that he 
gave Mr. Samuel Reeves 17d guineas for him. He christened 
him from the covert where they found, and ranked him ever 
after with the Amport, Kochelle, and Ayston of his Hamp- 
shire affections." 

The time, however, was about to arrive when even that 
vigorous and hardy constitution, which had stood proof 
against such severe handling, and seemed to defy every 
"draw" upon it from toil, accident, or weather, was to 
succumb. He was appi*oaching the shore of that dark strait^ 

Scilicet omnibus, 
Quicnnqne tome munere vescimur, 
Enayigandse. — HoBAT. 

In September, 1856, while at his summer residence in 

♦ "Silk and Scarlet,- p. 288. 


IsTorth Wales, Mr. Smith was seissed with an alarming illness, 
i^Lich caused the greatest apprehension to his friends. The 
skill, however, of Dr. Stokes, of Dublin, who was sent for, 
added to the unremitting attentions of Mr. Kichards, of 
IBangor, his usual medical adviser, who well knew his pa- 
tient's constitution, brought him round after many weeks 
of protracted suffering, chiefly by the use of stimulants, to 
which he had never previously resorted, and which he was 
now reluctantly persuaded to try. Mrs. Smith was herself 
at this period in a very weak state of health, but devoted 
Iierself most assiduously to the care of her husband, and her 
attention greatly tended to his recovery. Even now, when 
he was in a most prostrate and debilitated condition, the 
sight of his horse saddled at the door, ready to carry him 
to the Fort, only a mile distant, seemed at once to cheer 
and revive him ; and the man who had been five minutes 
before gasping for breath on the sofa, under the powerful 
hold of his old enemy — asthma — when once astride 
the animal trotted off apparently, by mechanical impulse, 
as if he had more need of his hounds than of a phy- 

Although he rallied from this attack in an astonishing 
maimer, he was no longer the same man. The erect gait 
was bent, and the eagle eye had lost its lustre. He returned 
to Ted worth as usual ; but, at the annual meet on the 
1st of November, 1857, the hounds met without the 
accustomed centre-figure of their master, who slowly rode 
up to them without his scarlet. He remarked, quite 
senously, that if he had worn his hunting-gear, and his 
pack should observe that he could not follow them, they 
would show their sorrow by refusing to hunt the fox. A 
■ universal gloom pervaded the field ; he looked wistfully and 
lovingly at his old favourites, the heroes of many a well- 
fought field ; and, as he quickly went back into the hall, 
shrinking almost from the outer air, while the horsemen and 
pack turned away slowly towards the shrubberies, every one 


lelt with a heavy heart that the gloiy of the dd f[xz-hujiter 
had at length departed. 

The talented author of '' Silk and Scarlet ** thus grajphi- 
caUj descrihes his last appearance at the oovert side : 

" The covert side knew him no more after October, 1857, 
when he just cantered up to Willbury on his ohestnut hack, 
Blemish, to see his hounds draw. Carter had orders to 
bring the choicest of the 1858 entry, and he and Will Bryce 
arrived at the usual rendezvous with five couple of bitches 
by the Eitzwilliam B^rdwicke and Hermit. He looked at 
them for a fihort time, and excladmed, ' Well, they are as 
beautiful as they can be.' He then bade both his men 
good-bye, and they saw him in the field no more." This was 
only a week or two previously to tibe grand annual meet 
already mentioned. 

' I passed a week with him at Tedworth in the course of 
the following winter. Although it was the month of De- 
cember, the season was mild, and, as there had been very 
little shooting, I had some excellent sport with my gun in 
the spacious turnip-fields which lock, down upon the village. 
One day we came upon a fox lying quietly and unconcerned 
among the turnips, as if he was aware that his old enemy 
was disabled, and we had ^me difficulty in making him stir 
from the spot. The keeper told me, thact there had been a mor- 
tality among the foxes that season, in consequence of the long 
continuance of dry weather, and that the one in question was 
idiseased, or rotten, to use his own expression. I mentioned 
the circumstance at the dinner-table in the evening. A few 
intimate friends had been invited, and Mr. Smith had asked 
me to take his seat at the bottom, if it could be so called, of the 
round table at which he usually dined, he taking his seat in 
a position nearer the fire. He had been very aleat durixig 
dinner, and kept his head dowu, appearing not to listen 
to what was going on, but to be intently occupied 
with the contents of his plate, which he was devouring 
with much relish. When the anecdote of the fox was 


mentioned^ a lady present, looking at him askance, remarked 
to me, ** Why didn't you shoot him 1 " In an instant the 
squire raised his head, the lightning flashed in his eye, and 
he exclaimed, pointing. to me, ''If he had, he would not 
have been there.*' It was at this time he took his daily ex- 
ercise for an hour in the conseryatory, as has been already 
related. Hitherto Carter, his huntsman — ^as good a one as 
ever crossed a country — had been in the habit of seeing his 
master every evening in the dining-room at nine o'clock, to 
talk over the sport of that day, and to settle what hounds 
were to run on the morrow, and what horses were to go 
out. Kow a short occasional interview in the morning suf- 
ficed, when Mr. Smith had taken his usual basin of soup 
with brandy in it. Mid when the pack was not out. Never- 
theless, his intellect was unimpaired, and his head for figures 
as good as ever. He was investing largely at this period in 
Consols, as the Welsh property was rapidly increasing in 
value, and within the last few years he had paid off every 
incumbrance on his estates.* What I was particularly struck 
with was the extreme neatness of his personal appearance, 
so unusual in an invalid, and the care he took never to come 
among the ladies, except en grcmde toUeUe, at those times 
even when almost without company, for when he was most 
suffering, he could never be prevailed upon to enter the 
drawingrroom in his rohe ds ehombre. 

His gallantry and the respect he showed to the fair sex 
were always remarkable. To them the loud and often 
boisterous sportsman was.gentleness itself. Whein dressed for 
tibe evening, in his white silk stockings and well-fitting pumps 
^for.he was not a little proud of his foot), he looked the pat- 
tern of an old English gentleman. He studiously avoided 
giving trouble, and seemed annoyed at being obliged to ask 
Any one to^ perform any little service for him. In this, way 

* His father had left a large fortune to each of his sisters, chargeable 
on the property in Hants and Oaernanronshire, which he had entirely 
paid off. 


he lingered on till the autumn of 1858, when he died rather 
suddenly at Vaenol, on the 9th of September, after a second 
attack attended with the same symptoms which had shaken 
him so severely in 1856. He had only a few weeks pre- 
viously to this event completed his eighty-second year. He 
bequeathed to his widow the whole of his vast possessions. 
Ko other person was named in his will, which was found 
written on half a sheet of writing paper, except a few old 
servants, to whom he bequeathed legacies. Mrs. Smith 
inherited the estates both in England and Wales, to do 
exactly as she pleased with them, without any direction, 
recommendation, or suggestion of a wish on his part as to 
their ultimate disposition. The funeral took place at Ted- 
worth, and his remains were interred in the village church- 
yard; the mausoleum in the grounds intended for both 
husband and wife, and also for Mrs. Smith's mother, 
Mrs. Webber, who had died a short time previously, not 
being then finished. There had never been any issue of his 

The following minute account of his illness in 1856 has 
been furnished by an eye-witness and very old friend, 
who has also kindly communicated the particulars of 
Mr. Smith's last attack, received from the wife who so 
devotedly attended him. 

" When Dr. Stokes arrived from Dublin, in September, 
1856, he gave little hope to those about Mr. Smith that he 
would last long, but strongly advised a free use of stimu- 
lants, which Mr. Smith firmly resisted for some time, say- 
ing he had always been a very temperate man, to which he 
believed he owed his vigorous constitution. However, he 
yielded to the solicitation of his friends, and when appa- 
rently at the last gasp, found relief from half a wine-glass of 
brandy. During this autumn, his kind neighbour and highly 
esteemed friend, Colonel Douglas Pennant, two or three 
times sent his pack of beagles for Mr. Smith's amusement. 
Even the sight of them turning into the gate appeared to- 


give him new life. On one occasion, lie had been Tery ill 
all the morning, and was threatened with one of his hunting 
attacks, when, looking up in agony into his wife's face, 
he gasped out, ' I am going.' Nevertheless, brandy, ether, 
and other stimulants revived him. About an hour after^ 
wards the hounds arrived, and, i^uch to the astonishment 
and dismay of all about him, he crawled, with the help of 
his valet and butler, to the hall-door, and was soon in the 
saddle. Once there, he looked immediately ten years younger. 
Observing a horse belonging to Colonel Pennant which he 
fancied, he dismounted from his own, and though told the 
other was rather restive, he determined to mount it and 
follow the hounds. His groom had strict orders to keep 
very close to him, with a vial of brandy in his pocket. Some 
anxious Mends followed on foot, and from a piece of high 
ground watched his movements. They were soon terrified 
by seeing him thrown off. He was not hurt, and wished to 
continue the chase, saying, ' it was curious how he had lost 
his gripe on a horse,' which he always said was the secret of 
his riding ; but at last was persuaded to return home in the 
carriage. There is great reason to believe that stimulants 
prolonged his life, but his sufferings were very great. He 
used to say the feeling of * sinking away ' was the most 
painful of all ; and yet he never murmured, but used often 
to repeat, ' It is the will of God,' and, as soon as he was 
relieved from momentary pain, make a slight bow, and 
exclaim, * Thank God ! ' His valet, Attwell, who had been 
with him many years, nursed him with the tenderest care 
night and day ; but poor Mr. Smith was so anxious not to 
disturb him unnecessarily at night (when he had to take 
medicine at stated hours), that he tried several ways of 
making the light reflect on his watch, so that he might reach 
the medicine-bottle himself. Many of these £Eiiled ; at last, 
he and his clever carpenter, John Jones, devised a mechani- 
cal contrivance which answered admirably. When he had 
been unusually restless, and had been obliged to call up his 

1x2 BEicnfiacfENCHBy Bra 

aervant, he used to say to him in the morning, ' I am sorry 
to have disturbed you so often ; you will find a sorereign 
on my table, take it.' 

*' His death was at last rather sudden. He was very ill 
when he lefb London in August, 1858 ; but bore the day's 
journey to Yaenol better than was expected, and in a week 
seemed to rally considerably. In the meanwhile, all his 
anxiety seemed to be centred on Mrs. Smith, who had been 
very ill for some months, insomuch that he had written to 
beg her sister, Mrs. Henei^e, and heir &mily, to give up their 
tour in Scotland and come immediately to Yaenol, whi^h 
they did, and found her in a most anxious state, but the 
;squire &r better than he had been for s<»ne time. However, 
on the Thursday after their arrival, Mr. Smith complained 
of feeling very weak, and said he ^ould not go down stairs, 
which was so unuanal an act of self*indn]g^ioe that Attwell 
.for the first time gave him up ; mad, sure enough, he never 
lefb his room again. On the Saturday morning he fell into 
a stupor, from which the medical men and those about him 
had no hope of his rallying. When this aad conviction was 
. gently broken to his wife, it was unexpected by her,: for she 
had seen his sufferings so much greater that she could not, 
.and would not, believe he was to pass away without one 
kind word to her. After remaining in this state throughout 
the day, he suddenly opened his eyes, aad in his usual power- 
ful and firm voice he asked for something to drink, to the 
amazement of all about him. The next day he was better, 
and wrote a cheque for money that he €»ight to have given 
the day before, remembering it of his own accord. The 
three following days he remained pladd, apparently not 
suffering much, and at times insensible. In .a moment of 
consciousness, evidently aware of his approaching end, 
he said to his devoted wile, * Take care of that man,' 
pointing to his faithful valet ; and when Mrs. Smith left 
the room, he said to her maid, * Watch over your i^treas ; 
take care of her.' 


^ About nine o^dock on Tlmrsday evening, Mrs. Smith 
Ifitfit him to lie down for an hour, leavizig her sister to watoh 
bj his side, and exacting a promke that she would not take 
her eyes from his &ae, A fidthfol and kind watcher she 
proved, for in leas than an hour she jSEUioied she perceived a 
slight diauge in his countenance, , and called .her sister, who 
immediately ^came to his bedside ; but before his valet and 
the doctors could be summoned, Jie had breathed his last in 
a gentle sigh. Thus departed, in an enviably peaceful death 
the spirit of him who for eighty-two years had led a most 
stirring and energetic life. His virtues were many ; pos- 
sessing a noble, generous, kind heart, always prompt to hear 
the tale of woe, and only too ready to relieve it : his num- 
berless acts of liberality known to i&w : but his cheque- 
boc^ bearing testimony to munificent deeds. His faults were 
those to be expected from his education : his father was a 
very stem man, and yet over-indulgent in some things ; and 
his mother a weak, vain, selfish woman, little caring for her 
flhildren, and leaving them early to their own devices. He 
therefore too early became ' lord of himself, that heritage of 
woe.'" His character, however, merits a more ample and 
minute description, and this we shall reserve for the following 



His saltem accumulem donis, et faogar inani 
Munere. — Vibq. 

The chief ^points in the character of Mr. Assheton Smith 
have already been so prominently displayed in the course 
of this narrative, that it may appear superfluous to add 


anything to the portrait. Some minor traits, however, 
have been either purposely passed over, or imperfectly 
sketched, in order that we might follow him with less inter- 
ruption through his lengthened career. Bat we should, 
however, be doing him much less than justice if we omitted 
them altogether. There are some details, in themselves 
insignificant, which impart mnch interest to biography, and 
serve to bring it more closely home to men's ** business and 
bosoms." We naturally wish to become well acquainted 
with the personal appearance and demeanour, the habits of 
life, and the friendships of the individual, whose life we 
have been perusing, and the want of these particulars pre- 
sents a gap which we cannot afterwards fill up. After the 
lapse of even a brief space of time, so rapidly do other 
prominent figures come upon the stage, that the most vivid 
personal reminiscences of any individual, however illustrious 
in any pursuit, or profession, or grade of life, necessanly 
fade away from the memory. Let us, therefore, while our 
remembrance of the lamented squire of Tedworth is fresh 
and vivid, while we still have him before us in our " mind's 
eye" as distinctly as when he lived, while the hoof-mark 
is fresh and deep upon the soil, subjoin a recapitulation 
of his various characteristics, gleaned from all available 

Mr. Assheton Smith was of the stature best adapted to 
exertion and endurance, about five feet ten inches in height, 
with a frame athletic, well-proportioned, and muscular, but 
rather slight than the contrary. His weight was latterly 
about eleven stone ten ; in his Leicestershire days, Dick 
Christian says he was not above ten stone. He was fond of 
weighing himself, and had scales both at Tedworth and at 
his seat in Wales. His features were plain, and not in 
any way indicative of high breeding, but intelligent, the 
whole countenance denoting a powerful and resolute wilL A 
rival once in Leicestershire said, " he is snake-headed, with 
a dash of the bulldog." He used to say of himself that he 


was the plainest man in England, generally adding, in allu- 
sion to his famous pugilistic encounter at Eton, ''that 
fellow, Jack Musters, spoilt my beauty." His ordinary 
dress was a blue coat with brass buttons, and a buff waist- 
coat ; during the hunting season he dined in scarlet, the 
inside of the coat being lined with white silk. In his mode 
of living he was particularly abstemious as regarded drink- 
ing; but in eating he indulged more freely, and his 
appetite was surprising. The immense exercise which he 
was daily in the habit of taking, and his early hours in the 
morning, required an adequate supply of nourishment, and 
after his severest day's work he was never '' off his feed" 
The copious plate of hashed mutton, which was his constant 
break&st before going out to hunt, even to the last hastily 
eaten while his horse was at the door, and digested in the 
saddle, was a proof how well he was able to set all rules of 
diet at defiance : unlike the more careful and no less cele- 
brated Meynell, whose hunting break£Eist was a pound of 
the best veal condensed to as much squp as would fill a 
small tea-cup. In Tom Smith's bachelor days, relates an 
old friend who saw a good deal of him at that period, his 
usual dinner was mutton soup of the best description, and a 
couple of glasses of daret. " I once rode with him to Hun- 
gerford," he adds, " in a bitter cold frost, and our luncheon 
was tea and toast," The &ct was, his hearty breakfast 
served him for the day, and he seldom took anything, until 
quite latterly, between that meal and his dinner. 

In his friendships he was warm, generous, faithful, and 
noble-hearted ; on the other hand, like all men of ardent 
temperament, he had his dislikes, and never took any pains 
to conceal them. Where he had once conceived an aver- 
sion, he could be seldom brought to overcome it. This 
peculiarity he inherited from his fistther, who used to say of 
himself " No man was ever in my company twelve hours 
without fully perceiving whether I liked or disliked him." 
^ And no man," rejoined the friend to whom the remark 


was made, ^ if you disliked him, would wiBh to be wibh yoa 
for five minutea.'* 

As has been already remarked, the son was hasty and 
excitable > tmp^ar, iracundus, et cuxr^ like Achilles, but not 
inexoTobiMa, He was of a liberal and benevolent dispoai- 
tioD, and as his means enabled him to gratify his inclioatioa 
in this respect, he gave without ostentation, not un&e- 
qnently in quarters where hia liberality could never be 
spoken of abroad, and where the situation in life of the 
parties precluded their asking for assistance. To the poorer 
classes he was always open*-handed. 

About the year 1847, aft^ a severe frost, so sudden and 
rapid a thaw succeeded that « whole line of villages in the 
valley of Salisbury Plain was inundated, and the poor in> 
habitants were exposed to the greatest dangers and priva- 
tions. Mr. Smith was the first to ride down, and leave 
£100 with the clergyman for the immediate relief of the 
sufierers. The noble example thus set was so snccessfiilly 
followed, that in a short time funds were raised, not only 
sufficient for the purpose intended, but a surplus remained, 
which was handed over to Salisbury Infirmary. At another 
time an old colonel, broken down by years and misfortune, 
was reduced to the last climax of distress by having an 
execution in his house, and all his little property put up to 
auction; Mr. Smith desired his agent, Mr. Northeast, who 
always most effectually carried out his master's geneioiia 
impulses, and well repaid the confidence placed in him, to 
buy the whole and retxum it to the late owner ; not as a 
gift, but as a hem, lest it should again be seized and sold 

"I was one day riding not fiir from Ted worth," writes 
the Rev. Henry Fowle — the friend and fellow-sportsman 
to whom the author is indebted fi)r many of the in- 
teresting anecdotes related in these pages, — ^ in a contrary 
direction to where the hounds were fixed to meet, when I 
met the squire, and the following oonveraation occurred* 
< Why are you not going out with me to-day % ' said he. 


' I have jnst heard of the death of an old friend and ie> 
lative/ was my reply (mentioning his name), * and I am now 
going to* see his son and hear when the faneral is to take 
place.' 'Yonr selative, it is tme, always opposed me in 
the Craven Hunt ; bnt he was a bold rider and a gidlant 
sportsman. I hear his grandson is just going out to India, 
so pray tell the bo/s &ther I will give him £100 for hi» 
son's outfit, which will make your vint less painful to him.' " 

On another occanon, during a violent storm on his 
return from huntings Mr. Smith was standing under a tree 
for shelter in the village of Chute. A poor man came out 
from his house, or rather hovel, for it was in a- miserable 
condition, with a sack which he asked permission to put 
over the saddle, while the squire retired under his roof for 
shelter. Both offers were accepted, and the man wa» 
liberally rewarded for his attention. His surprise, however, 
was not disagreeable the next day on the arrival of a brick- 
layer and carpenter, who, at Mr. Smith's expense, entirely 
rebuilt his cottage for him. It was a remark of Dr. Joka^ 
son, that no man could be under a gateway with Edmund 
Burke during a shower of rain, and not be at onoe con* 
vinced that he was talking to the most extraordinaiy man 
it had ever been his good fortune to encounter. Whatever 
may have been the feelings of this poor labourer respecting 
his visitor of the previous day, it may be safely asserted, 
that no other man could be named, who ever did a more 
generous act for so insignificant a &vour. 

On bcnng once thanked by a. Mend for a liberal donation^ 
to a young' man about to seek his fortune in Australia, Mr. 
Smith asked, ** Is the young fallow a lad of spirit 1 " and on 
being assured that such was the case, he put his hand in his 
pocket, and said, '' Then here is ten pound more for him." 

During the short time he was on the turf, he was once at 
Newmarket, where he had two horses training. Cracker and 
Gantator. While attending, a meeting of the Jockey Club, 
to which he then belonged, a bill for £300, drawn by an 


unfortuDate brother-sportsman, was handed round the room, 
but at such a discount that it was offered to any one for 
.£30. On Mr. Smith's inquiring the name of the drawer, 
and finding that it was that of an old schoolfellow of his, 
he requested to see the bill, and having immediately drawn 
a cheque for .£300, which he handed to the holder, put the 
bill behind the fire. 

The following incident may appear too trifling to record, 
but it is characteristic of his kindness of heart. When he 
was a patient of the famous Dr. Jephson, of Leamington, the 
doctor happened to mention that he had experienced great 
difficulty in procuring grapes, at that time out of season, 
for a £edr invalid, having sent in vain for them to London, 
Birmingham, and other places, when Mr. Smith, with 
whom the lady was only slightly acquainted, exclaimed, 
" Why did you not tell me of this before ? I would have 
sent your dear patient a cart-load." Within as short a time 
as possible, a large hamper of fine grapes arrived for her 
from Tedworth. 

Although Mr. Smith's name was not often to be found 
heading public subscriptions, or in the lists of charities, he 
was never known to refuse an application for aid to pro- 
mote a truly charitable purpose. Mrs. Smith has been 
heard to say, that she never asked him for money for the 
advancement of religion or to promote the comfort and 
welfare of the poor, but it was cheerfully granted to her, 
and to any amount. The almshouses at Tedworth were 
kept in comfortable repair entirely at his expense, in order 
that the funds for the maintenance of the aged inmates 
might not in any way be diminished. In 1857, only a few 
months before his death, a new village school was completed 
near the Hampshire Cross, a handsome building, capable of 
holding a hundred children. The sight of the girls in their 
red cloaks on a Saturday afternoon, and of the noisy urchins 
rushing from the porch to commence their various pastimes, 
would suffice to gladden the heart of a ''Times" commissioner. 



Mr, Smith's well-knit and manly frame, combined with 
great activity in the use of his limbs, rendered him successful 
in all athletic sports. In his youth he had been a first-rate 
swimmer, rower, and shot. To his powers as a cricketer, the 
Appendix to this volume bears ample testimony. His emi- 
nence as a fox-hunter has, however, thrown into the shade the 
fact of his having excelled in these diversions. He said he 
should like to ride, shoot, play cricket, and box with Mr. 
Osbaldeston, but he would begin with the last, in order to 
disqualify his opponent from obtaining the victory in the 
otiipr three exploits^ From his love of boating at Eton, 



From a Drawing in th$ Library at Tedtcorih, 

doubtless, sprang his taste for yachting in after life. Every- 
where at Ted worth might be traced indications of his favourite 


gcience. Along the ledge of the shelves in the library were 
ranged, and there still remain, the models of some of Mr. 
Smith's favourite steam^yachts. Fire Queen, Glow-worm, 
Jenny lind, and Sea Serpent Of the last, a beautiful 
water-colour drawing hangs over the mantle-piece. 

Of his qualities as an amateur shipwright we have 
already spoken, and the science he displayed in the various 
vessels he built, both sailing and steam-jachts, evinces no 
ordinary skill and aptitude for mechanics ; his acute obser- 
vation frequently enabling him to make suggestions of great 
value in the construction and improvement of ships. He 
used to say that his knowledge of building sailing-vessels 
was derived from observing how low wild- ducks swam in 
the water.'- 

The quickness of eye and steadiness of hand, which made 
him a good shot and a good cricketer, served him also at 
billiards. He mentioned that in Paris he was backed to 
play a celebrated marker, whom he beat, upon whidli he 
was challenged by the same individual to play for a very 
large stake. This he wisely declined, never having been 
a gambler. Once at TedwiHi;h» after a laige party had 
finished a game at pool, a constant evening's amuaement at 
the beautiful slate table there, he came into the billiard- 
room, and challenged to play the winner. This happened 
to be the present Dufee •£ Wellington, then Manints of 
Dourc^ BO coounon performer. The game went pretty 
even, the eon player in constant practice, the other quite 
the reverse. At last the squire put his adversary's and his 
own ball into the pocket. He had then to play at the red 
ball, which was just below the middle pocket. " Who says 
I cannot pocket the red ball in the middle pocket]" 
observed the striker. A friend, who stood by, knowing 
his man, made a bet to that effect ; and the way in which 
Mr, Smith did it showed at once what a player he must 
have been when in practice, and astonished every one 
present. He hit the further end cushion with his ball. 


which, on its return, gently deposited the red in the middle 
pocket, winning the game for the player, and the bet for 
his friend 

The squire loved hospitality, and at Tedworth, during 
the season, there was a constant succession of visitors. His 
table, his equipages, his appointments, the domestic ar- 
rangements of his establishment, were all in first-rate style, 
and in excellent keeping. To Mrs. Smith's suggestions for 
the laying out and improvement of the grounds he almost 
always deferred ; once, however, the squire was determined 
to have his own way, even as regarded landscape. This 
occurred at Yaenol, when an artist was commissioned to 
take a sketch for a picture from a certain spot which 
Mr. Smith had selected, and which proved that he had an 
eye for the picturesque. With his usual quick perception, 
the owner of the property inquired whether a clump of 
large trees standing immediately before the house, did not 
obstruct the view ; upon the artist's replying that he did 
not think their removal would be an improvement, and 
appealing to the ladies of the party, among whom of course 
was Mrs. Smith, for the preservation of the timber, he 
hastily drew him aside and whispered, ''Pray hold your 
tongue ; I want these trei^ down, but if you say another 
word I shall not get leave." Leave was granted, and in less 
than half an hour, ropes, ladders, saws, and axes, were at 
work. Mr. Smith knew that ladies do sometimes change 
their minds, and by the rapidity of his movements he 
placed the permission beyond the " power of revocation." 
The event proved the correctness of his decision ; the 
undulations in a park of 500 acres can now be seen, and the 
gap, formerly filled by the trees, lets in as fine a prospect 
as can be seen in North "Wales. During the last year of 
his life, a friend riding with him and Mrs. Smith, by the 
Tedworth Lodge, observed to the latter, how much nobler 
an appearance the chestnut trees would present, if all 
the scrubby bushes lying under them were removed* 
• k2 


Mrs. Smith acquiescing in the remark, the squire, without 
further comment, said to two men who were painting the 
fence, " Put down your brushes, and get axes, and let me 
find all these bushes cut down on my return from my ride." 
This was accordingly done, much to the improvement of the 

The squire's love for science influenced even the arrange- 
ments of his household. At Ted worth, at Vaenol, and at 
his London house, he devised a railroad from his kitchen to 
his dining-room, along which the dishes passed and re- 
2)assed, and thus he obviated the necessity of his servants 
quitting the room, and the consequent delay. At Yaenol, the 
train arriving with its savoury load opened a trapdoor at 
the end of the dining-room ; this closed of itself imme- 
diately after the admission of the course, and thus no incon- 
venience arose from the smell of cooking which frequently 
penetrates open doors and passages in the largest houses. 
The weight of the empty dishes going down, as in the case 
of the slate waggons at Llanberris, brought upon the 
platform within the dining-room, by means of diminutive 
connecting ropes, the hot and smoking trucks coming up. 
This process, if not the only one of the kind in England, 
was at all events invented and introduced entirely by 
Mr. Smith. Latterly, in London, when suffering from 
asthma, he had an ingenious mechanical contrivance, by 
which he was raised to his bedroom on one of the upper 
stories, as he always entertained a great objection to 
sleeping on the ground-floor. 

His attachment to all animals (we arc afraid foxes would 
demur to being placed in the category), especially to horses, 
dogs, and birds, was remarkable.* We have already in- 

* An editorial note, appended to Mr. Bruce Campbeirs memoir of 
the late Mr. John Musters, in the Sporting Magazine for January, 1850, 
thus eloquently upholds the humane character of the genuine fox- 
hnnter : — " Mr. Musters is another proof that kindliness and consid^ir- 
ation for animals are alike characteristic of the man of courage and the 


stancecl his care and kind treatment of the gallant hunter 
•who carried him close to the hounds. He never would 
permit his coachman to use the whip with his carriage- 
horses, and if the injunction happened to be forgotten, he 
would start up in his carriage and severely reprimand 
him. His lady's pet dogs were always sources of great 
interest ; Flash, Dandy, and Fop, shared his regard and 
were privileged favourites. Poor Dandy came to an un- 
timely end, being badly bitten by one of the fox-hounds 
whom he had in his wantonness* attacked, and his sad 
fate was severely felt and lamented. Mrs. Smith was 
no less fond of animals than her husband, and there was 
always a favourite hunter whom she coaxed and fed. Once 
hearing that the son of a friend had a tame magpie at 
school, which he resisted all solicitations to sell, although 
his pocket-money was entirely exhausted, she immediately 
sent him a sovereign. Birds were objects of especial in- 
terest to the squire ; he loved to remark their habits, and 
his country amusements afforded him ample opportunities 
of observing their instincts. He had at different times 
several pet robins, whom he constantly fed in the con- 
servatory, and his favourite rooks, who used to come close 
to the library windows during the severe weather, were 
never sent empty away. These incidents may seem too 
insignificant to mention, but men are more thoroughly 
known by trifles than by serious actions ; in the former the 
disposition is far more faithfully reflected than in the latter. 
At one end of the conservatory he had a beautiful cockatooj 
which was sure of a kind word from him at every turn of 
his horse when he took his daily rides there, during the last 
winter of his life. He took no small delight in watching 

true fox-hunter. An idea has preyailed that the pursuits and associa- 
tions of the chase were not commonly united with proper feelings for 
animals, temperate habits, and gentlemanly accomplishments. Mr.. 
Campbell's memoir of Mr. Musters shows that such traits are the best 
indications of the genuine and successful sportsman." 


the innumerable flocks of starlings that always in the 
severe season roosted in the laurel plantation abutting on 
Ashdown Copse, and used to say, how wonderful it was, 
that when these countless myriads all on a sudden turned 
as it were on a pivot, without any previous signal, they 
never by any chance in their gyrations struck against one 
another, or interfered with their respective evolutions in the 
air. These birds were by his strict orders never molested. 

The natural kindness of disposition which thus mani- 
fested itself towards inferior creatures, shone out as a fea- 
ture in his character, only with greater strength and in- 
tensity, in his treatment of those around him. No master, 
peremptory as he was in his commands, and exacting in 
having his orders at once executed and to the very letter, 
was more beloved than he was by his servants. If he was 
violent and tyrannical, as has been sometimes represented, 
how was it that for a long course of years the same indivi- 
duals composed his household, and that the retainers on his 
estates in Hampshire and North Wales had grown grey- 
headed in his service 1 In his friendships he was a man of 
strong affections, as has been already observed, and of a 
childlike tenderness of heart. Dictatorial, impetuous, and 
overbearing as he occasionally was, and these fEulings sprang 
as much from his self-confidence as from his ardent tem- 
perament, it is recorded of him that he never lost a friend. 
He had survived almost all his contemporaries, but among 
those who enjoyed his intimacy latterly, out of his own 
family, were the Duke of Bedford, the Hon. Philip Pierre- 
pont. Sir John Pollen, Mr. John Drummond, the Rev. Hemy 
Fowle, the late Mr. Charles Bell Ford, Admiral Montague, 
and Sir Eichard Sutton ; of these Sir Kichard, so many 
years his comrade and fellow-sportsman in the hunting 
field, held the place nearest to his heart. When he heard 
of his death, in 1856, he was overwhelmed with grief, and 
burst into a flood of tears ; and afterwards, when he com- 
menced telling a story about Sir Bichard, he suddenly threw 


up his hands in strong emotion, exclaiming, ^ Oh, my poor 
friend !*' and could not proceed. The regard he entertained 
for the late Duke of Wellington has already been adverted 
to, and his friendship was warmly reciprocated. Once a 
report getting abroad that Mr. Smith was dead, his Grace, 
who was then in London, dispatched the Marquis of Douro 
immediately from Strath fieldsaye to Tedworth, to make 
inquiries, and finding to his satisfaction that the squire was 
enjoying his usual robust health, the Duke wrote to him 
the following letter : — 

London, Nov. 12, 1851. 

" My dear Smith, — They have killed you again in these 
last days ! But I have been happy to learn that the report 
is without foundation. 

" They treat you in this respect as they do me. I con- 
clude that it is in your capacity of Field Marshal of Fox- 

" Ever yours, most sincerely, 

" Wellington." 

Another note written by the Duke is characteristic ol 
the writer : — 

London, May 11, 1840. 

" My dear Smith,-— I have received your note. I 
attend in. Parliament four days in the week. At the 
Ancient Musick on Wednesdays. There remain Sunday 
and Saturday. 

" Every animal in the creation is sometimes allowed a 
holiday, excepting the Duke of Wellington. There the 
days are, take any Saturday or Sunday that you please. 

^' I should certainly like to have occasionally a day's 
leisure, while the Ancient Concerts are going on, and the 
pressure of business is so heavy in Parliament. 

" But my convenience, likings, or dislikings, have nothing 
to do with the matter ; they are not worth discussing. I 


would prefer doing anything, rather than have a discussion 
on the subject. 

" Kemember me most kindlj to Mrs. Smith, and believe 
me ever yours most sincerely, 

Religion is a topic upon which Mr. Smith was generally 
silent, and certainly, beyond a regular observance of the 
Sabbath, he made no particular external profession of it. 
But one who knew him best, said that he had a most simple 
and devout faith, his favourite motto being : " Whatever 
happens, all is for the best ; " and whenever he saw anyone 
in sorrow or distress, he always said, " We must submit to 
God's will, whatever it is." During his severe sufferings in 
both his attacks of illness, he evinced the most tranquil 
patience and resignation, and whenever he felt easier, or in 
any way relieved, his exclamation was, "Thank God for 
everything ! " On one occasion, a friend happened to say, 
heedlessly and jokingly, in a letter to him, that he felt 
much distressed in mind, and was almost inclined to commit 
suicide. Mr. Smith replied to him with a severe admo- 
nition never to speak lightly upon so serious a subject. 

A strong sense of justice was ono of Mr. Assheton 
Smith's prevailing characteristica He constantly took the 
part of persons who were total strangers to him, when sub- 
jected in his opinion to injury and oppression. He threw 
himself warmly into any case of injustice recorded in the 
public journals, both using his interest on behalf of the 
sufferer and contributing money for his relief. Once, when 
he saw an Irishwoman beating her child on the high road, 
he tried to expostulate with her in order to dissuade her 
from that method of correcting it; but finding his en- 
treaties had no effect, and that the virago opened on him 
for his interference, he left the spot, but not without giving 
five shillings to a labourer, who happened to be present, to 
see that the violence was not repeated. As a proof of his 


acute observation and discernment of character, I will 
mention the following anecdote. 

He had two small green boxes in his study at Ted worth, 
in one of which he kept his letters and papers, and in the 
other, what money he had in the house. The first of these 
was one morning missing, the thief having by mistake 
taken the wrong box, both being exactly alike. Mr. Smith, 
considering that the fact of his keeping his cash in one of 
these boxes would be more likely to be known to the 
servants who were in the habit of waiting upon him in his 
study than to anyone else, tsaused a search to be made 
throughout the premises, and the missing box was at length 
discovered open in one of the shrubberies. Mr. Smith, 
upon this, had his whole phalanx of men-servants drawn up 
in line before him, and put the question direct to each. All 
having strictly denied any knowledge of the transaction, 
were dismissed by their master to their several duties. But 
shortly afterwards one of the footmen entering his study to 
put coals on the fire, Mr. Smith went straight up to him, 
and, collaring him, said, " It is you, sir, who took the box ; 
here is a five-pound note, take it, return me my papers, and 
begone this moment." The man, guilty and thunderstruck, 
and at the same time overpowered by his master's kindness, 
immediately owned to having committed the theft, and 
said, trembling, that it was the first time in his life he had 
done so dishonest an act. Mr. Smith said afterwards that 
he had remarked this man's countenance, as he stood before 
him with the other servants, and that his suspicions of the 
man's guilt, then excited, were strengthened into certainty 
by the peculiarity of his manner as he entered the room 
with the coals. 

Mr. Smith was always most precise and regular in hia 
appointments. When he gave Mr. Ferneley his first sitting 
on Jack-o'Lantern, at Quom, in 1807, he said he should 
allow the artist thirty minutes. He sat patiently during 
that time, looking occasionally at his watch, and the instant; 

138 BExnnscjiiNCJG^ Era 

it had expired, as Mr. Ferneley relates, he was ^ off the 
saddle." The sketch was first seen by Tom Jones, his 
gn>om, who said it was an excellent likeness. He always 
rode Jack-o'Lantem with a slack rein. This portrait was 
painted the first year Dick Burton came to him, Dick being 
at that time only fifteen years old. 

To claim for Mr. Assheton Smith the very highest rank as 
a fox-hunter may appear superfluous, since that pre- 
eminence has been already conceded to him by every 
sportsman. His £une, as far back as the beginning of the 
present century, is matter of history. The Emperor Napo- 
leon I., who somewhat disconcerted the vanity of the 
great orator, Erakine, by the inquiry, " Etea-vous Ugiste ? " 
honoured Mr. Smith by addressing him as, " Le premier 
€ha88ewr c^ Arkgleterre^ He was called by the Parisians, 
"Xe grcmd diaaaeur Smit,^* There has not been a book 
published in his time which does not allot to him the 
highest place as a master of hounds, a huntsman, and a 
rider. To say nothing of the celebrated Nimrod, whose 
pages are familiar to all lovers of the chase, the testimony 
of Mr. Delme Ratcliffe, in his work on the " Noble Science 
of Fox-hunting," is perhaps the most complete : " I could 
nowhere find a more fitting model for the rising generation 

of sportsmen He was an instance of the very 

rare union of coolness and consummate skill as a huntsman, 
combined with the impetuosity of a most desperate rider ; 
and not only was he the most determined of all riders, but 
equally remarkable as a horseman. His practice as a hunts- 
man was that which is best followed in any, but especially 
in a good country, — that of leaving hounds very much to 
themselves, although ever on the spot to render assistance if 

Among the best of the songs in which his feats are 
mentioned is a capital one by Lord Forester, " On a Run 
with the Duke of Rutland," the third verse of which runs 
thus : — 


" The hounds had not been there a minute. 

When the duke cried, 'Hark ! halloo ! away ! ' 
Not a hound was there left behind in it,— 

You'd swear they would show him some play. 
Th' hard riders jump'd off in a crack. 

Not one of them minding his neck, 
And for Belvoir were running him back, 

When Tom Smith rode the hounds to a check." 

I cannot resist the temptation of here inserting the 
language of Nimrod, it is so hearty, genuine, and unmis- 
takable. « I have a long list in letter S,'' says he, in his 
alphabetical catalogue of eminent riders, "and of course 
lots of Smiths. But Theodore Hook says,' they should be num- 
bered : ' and there can be no hesitation as to the best claim 
to 'number one,' namely, T. Assheton Smith, Esq., of Ted- 
worth House, Hants, late owner of, and huntsman to, the 
Quorn House, and at present (1841) hunting a very good 
pack of his own in Hampshire. Now I am not going to 
give merely my own opinion of Mr. Thomas Assheton Smith, 
as a horseman and rider to hounds, but shall lay before my 
readers that of all the sporting world, at least all who have 
seen him in the field ; which is, that taking him from the 
first day's hunting of the season to the last, place him on the 
best horse in his stable or on the worst, he is sure to be 
with his hounds, and dose to them too. In fact, he has 
undoubtedly proved himself the best and hardest rider • 
England ever saw, and it would be vain in any man to dis- 
pute his title to that character. But we might as well 
atteinpt to make a blind man an optician, a lame man a 
dancing-master, or a one-armed one a fiddler, as to suppose 
that any gentleman could arrive at this ultra state of per- 
fection in a very difficult art, which horsemanship un- 
doubtedly is, unless nature had been prodigal of the 
requisites. Setting aside the daring, undaunted, the not-to- 
be-denied * determination of Mr. Smith to get to hounds, 

* No word so thoroughly describes his character as the English 
word "pluck." 


despite of any and all difficnlties whicli may have opposed 
him, — the result of strongly-braced nerves and great 
physical powers, — let us look at him in his saddle. Does 
he not look like a workman 1 Observe how lightly he 
sits ! No one would suppose him to be a twelve-stone man. 
And what a firm hand he has on his horses ! How well he 
puts them at their fences, and what chances he gives them 
to extricate themselves from any scrape they may have 
gotten into. He never hurries them then ; no man ever 
saw Tom Smith ride fast at his fences, at least at large ones 
(brooks excepted), let the pace be what it may ; and what a 
treat it is to see him jump water ! His falls, to be sure, 
have been innumerable ; but what very hard riding man 
does not get falls ? Hundreds of Mr. Smith's falls may be 
accounted for : he has measured his horses* pluck by his 
own, and ridden at hundreds of non-feasible places, with 
the chance of getting over them somehow. Bravo ! Mr. 
Smith, you must be number owe, for, by Heavens ! there 
will never be such another Mr. Smith as long as the world 
stands." — (Hunting Reminiscences, p. 294.) 

To go back to writers contemporary with the feats of 
which they spoke, when criticism and censure would have 
soon exposed and overwhelmed any attempt at exaggera- 
tion, let us listen to the testimony of " Dorset," writing in 
the Sporting Magazine, November, 1836. After expressing 
his astonishment at the difficulties Mr. Smith contended 
against and overcame in Hants, where, to use his own 
forcible expression, he "screwed odd ends of a country 
together," he thus proceeds : 

** Of Mr. Smith, as a huntsman, it is needless to speak 
here, or indeed anywhere. He ranks with the first pro- 
fessors of this noble science ; and as the first horseman of 
the age, as well as the most accomplished huntsman of 
the present day, his name will be enrolled historically 
in the deathless pages of the chronicles of the chase, and 
among those who have advanced aiHl aided the political 


economy of his country in one of its most important 

The testimony of both Dick Christian and " The Druid," 
in " Silk and Scarlet," . is perhaps the most unreserved of 
any. '* "No man," says Dick, " that ever came into Leicester- 
shire could beat Mr. Smith, I do not care what any of them 
say ; " while " The Druid," after giving some very inte- 
resting anecdotes of him, whom he styles " the great master 
of the nineteenth century," thus speaks, of him '* at the 
finish : " — " However hasty in temper and action he might 
be in the field or on the fiags, he was the mightiest hunter 
that ever * rode across Belvoir's sweet vale ' or wore a horn 
at his saddle-bow." 

" It was a great speech of Mr. Smith's " (says the former 
writer) "if ever he saw a horse refuse with his whips, 
* Throw your heart over, and your horse will follow.' He 
never rode fast at his fences. I have heard him say scores 
of times, * When a man rides at fences a hundred miles an 
hour, depend upon it he funks.' " 

Sir William Miles confirms this statement. " Mr. Smith," 
he remarks, "always said, *Go slow at all fences except 
water. It makes a horse know the use of his legs, and by 
so riding he can put down a leg wherever it is wanted.' " 

« On my last visit," says " The Druid," " I found Dick 
Christian firmer than ever in his hero-worship of Mr. 
Assheton Smith, Sir James Musgrave, and Captain White." 
" I first knew Mr. Smith in 1798," writes Dick Christian 
to the author, " when he hunted in the Pytchley country. 
I then lived with Sir Gilbert Heathcote. He certainly was 
the best man that ever came into Leicestershire. He used 
to say, ' Dick, what kills is the pace,^ Yes, and no man put 
this oftener to the test than himself." 

Beckford says, in his celebrated " Thoughts on Hunting " 
that it is as difficult to find a perfect huntsman as a good 
prime minister, and he proceeds to enumerate the requisite 
qualifications for excellence in the former, as follows : — " A 


clear head, nice observation, quick apprehension, un- 
daunted courage, strength of constitutiou, activity of body, 
a good ear, and a good voice." The same writer says also, 
*^ If he is active, and presses them on while the scent is 
good, always aiming to keep them as near the fox as he 
can ; i^ when his hounds are at fault, he makes his cast 
with judgment, not casting the wrong way first and blun- 
dering on the right at last, as many do ; if, added to this, 
he is patient and persevering, never giving up a fox while 
there is a chance of killing him, he then is a perfect hunts- 
man." * We may observe that every one of these qualities 
was to be found in Mr. Assheton Smith. He was parti- 
cularly careful in making his casts,* often three in numbar, 
each one wider than the other, and spreading like a sky- 
rocket. He was generally averse to lifting his hounds, 
which he said made them idle and too dependant on the 
huntsman. He preferred seeing them work out the scent 
and improve* gradually upon the line ; — here a hit and 
there a hit, now a challenge from a trusty old hound 
( " Hark to Ringwood ! he has it ** ), when the wiUing 
pack rush with headlong eagerness to their leader; then 
a general dash, which bursts forth at the same moment 
into hard and determined running. No huntsman ever 
laid hounds on the line with greater quickness than 
Assheton Smith. Tet he would sometimes lift his hounds, 
when he was desirous of getting away from the large fields 
of sportsmen out in Leicestershire ; to effect which he 
would also resort to the following stratagem. It is usual 
after drawing a cover, if no fox be found, to proceed to the 
one next adjoining, but Smith would, in order to get rid of 
what he called the " Spring Captains " (for he was never very 

* This same authority thus ennmerates the five following epecies of 
fox-hunters : the " dress " fox-hunter, the " mahogany " fox-hunter, 
the "health-hunting** fox-hunter, and the "genuine" fox-hunter. 
As the name so well describes each, analysis of their respective merits 
is unnecessary* f " Cecil," in the Sporting Magazine, March, 1840. 


partial to young sportsmea),* gallop off at a splitting pace 
to some wood five or six miles ofi^ over every hedge and 
ditch that came in lus way. His system of hunting differed 
essentially from that of Mr. Osbaldeston in this respect, 
that he was as silent as possible until the fox was found, 
whereas Osbaldeston thought to make him break cover by 
the noise he made.t Mr. Osbaldeston's system was the 
more popular of the two, as that of Mr. Smith put too 
great a restraint upon the field. The latter did not even 
always carry a horn, especially in his earlier career. He 
always pat the most entire confidence in his hounds, and 
often mentioned the story of the Belvoir huntsman, who 
followed his pack to the door of a barn, when every one in 
the field supposed the fox had gone on. " If he is not in 
Kere^ said he, " my hounds deserve to be hanged,** and sure 
enough they found Keynard hid under the boltings of 
straw, and killed him. It was a splendid sight to see Mr. 
Smith throw his hounds into cover, although he was some- 
times in the habit of drawing too quickly. At the great 
meet in Leicestershire, in 1840, he did not half draw 
Shankton Holt, and if it had not been for Mr. Hodgson, 
who waded into Yowes Gorse in his jack-boots, he would . 
not have found a fox there. If Mr. Smith had a fault as 
a huntsman, it was that he was too impatient, owing to the 
irritability of his temper. 

When he went into Leicestershire, he found Lord Foley's 
hounds not of large size, but he soon raised the standard : 
dog hounds to twenty-five inches in height and bitches to 
twenty-three. Some sportsmen considered his dog hounds, 
although of enormous power, too heavy for his light and 
Alpine country, and too large for his great woodlands, but all 

* " Do you think you can catch him ? " said a master of hounds to a 
young aspiring sportsman. "No," was the reply. "Then let my 
hounds catch him if they can." — Bechford, p. 175. 

t Among the ancients it was considered an iU omen if any one spoke 
while hunting. 


acknowledged his bitch pack to be perfect. " They're beauties,'* 
he would say to himself, pointing to Dairy-maid, Pastime, 
and Blowsy, ** and John Mills * might w^U write their lives." 

" When Mr. Smith bought Lord Foley's hounds, he liked 
them small, and he used to call the * Pytchley,* when John 
Ward had them, *the great calves.' There was hardly a 
dog hound in Mr. Smith's first pack much above twenty- 
three inches. Afterwards he thought that the small hounds 
could not jump over the long green briars which were too 
thick to admit of their creeping through, and he did not 
rest till he had raised his bitch standard to as much over 
twenty-three as he could get it, and his dogs to be as near 
twenty-five as possible." — {SUk cmd Scarlet, p. 281.) 

The late Duke of Beaufort drew largely from Mr, Smith's 
packs, with the assistance of his huntsman. Will Long. 
The squire was fond of breeding from hounds of various 
qualities ; well knowing that the combination of strength, 
swiftness, and nose thus obtained form the perfect hound.t 

* Author of "Tlie Life of a Fox-hound." 

t Somerville, the poet of "The Chase," thus graphically describes 
the merits of our native hounds : 

" In thee alone, fair Land of Liberty, 
Is bred the perfect hound ; in scent and speed 

As yet unrivaird 

His glossy skin, or yellow-pied, or blue. 

In lights or shades by Nature's pencil drawn, 

Reflects the various tints ; his ears and legs 

Fleck't here and there, in gay enamell'd pride 

Rival the speckled pard. His rush -grown tail 

O'er his broad back bends in an ample arch ; 

On shoulders clean, upright and firm he stands ; 

His round cat foot, straight hams, and wide-Spread thighs^ 

And his low-drooping chest, confess his speed, 

His strength, his wind, or on the steepy hill 

Or far-extended plain 

Observe with care his shape, sort, colour, size ; 
Nor will sagacious huntsmen less regard 
His inward habits." 


As to mixture of colour, he was fond of that in which the 
blue or grey predominated, although he was of the same 
opinion as Foote, namely, that a good dog could not be of a 
bad colour. 

How he loved the thrilling melody of his pack ! * — 

" Matched in mouth like bells, each under each,— 

and how he would turn round in his saddle, even before he 
was half over his leap, to catch all he could of the joyous 
ecstasy of their voices — 

Yocat ingenti olamore CithaBron, 
Taygetique canes, domitrizque Epidaurus equornm, 
Et vox assensu nemorum iogeminata remugit. — ^ViBG. 

As an instance of the enthusiasm Mr. Smith always 
evinced for his favourite diversion, and of the value he set 
upon a participation in it, an anecdote may be mentioned 
of the Rev. Francis Dyson, now rector of Cricklade. Mr. 
Dyson's father was the clergyman at Tedworth, and gave 
his son a title to orders as his curate on his being £rst 
ordained. Mr. Smith was so pleased with his first sermon, 
that, on coming out of church, he slapped the young man 
on the back, and said, " Well done, Frank ! you shall have 
a mount on Roiy (Rory O'More) next Thursday." Young 
Dyson had many a run afterwards out of the squire's 
stables, for his performance in the field pleased as much as 
those in the pulpit. 

Among Mr. Smith's sporting congregation were not a 
few of the clergy, and these were never far in the rear of 
the squire. He was once entering the house of a certain 
divine, where his hounds met that morning, accompanied 

* The sportsman will remember the story of the Londoner. " There, 
there's music for you," said an enthusiastic farmer to a cockney ; " what 
splendid melody ! Don't you hear it ? " "No," replied the other, " I 
can hear nothing for those confounded dogs.** Sir Eoger de Coverley 
having received a valuable hound from a friend, returned it with many 
expressions of civility, saying that it was an "excellent bass, but at 
present he only wanted a counter-tenor." — Spectator, No. 116. 



by the late Lord George Bentinck. " What profession is 
this gentleman of ? " said his Lordship, as they entered his 
drawing-room. " A parson," replied the squire, and point- 
ing to the pictures of eminent sportsmen which adorned 
the walls, added, "Don't you see the portraits of his 
favourite bishops?" Dr. Coplestone, bishop of Llandaff, 
had loved fox-hunting in his youth, and always looked on 
these " clerical errors" with some indulgence. When he was 
provost of Oriel, a needy curate, wishing to ingratiate him- 
self with the Oxford dignitary, pointed out to him, as they 
sauntered together down High Street, a worthy parson of 
Jesus College, who was riding leisurely along on his way to 
meet the hounds, and remarked, with a shrug of religious 
horror, " Sic Uur ad astra I " " It is not the white 
breeches," replied the provost, with great discernment and 
liberality, " that the Church need be afraid of, but your 
long-coated, black-gaitered gentlemen," * 

Doubtless Mr. Smith had great advantages in the pos- 
session of vast physical strength, extraordinary nerve, and 
of a constitution that never bent under fatigue. These 
are important adjuncts to success in the hunting £eld, but 
they are not the ruling elements, and Mr. Smith shared 
them with many other men.* Cassius complained with 
envy, that the weakly temperament of CaBsar overcame the 
world. The secret of Mr. Smith's great success lay in his 
unbounded ardour for his favourite pursuit, and the unre- 
mitting energy he brought to bear upon it. 

The prevailing symptom of our age is a lack of abid- 

* Apropos of fox-hnntiDg divines, we may here mention, a misad- 
venture which once befell a heavy parson during a very severe run on 
Salisbury Plain. His horse had come down across some cart-ruts, in a 
manner which Dick Burton would describe as a huster. His reverence 
was much shaken, and did not come to himself for a few seconds ; 
when he did, he seated himself upon the greensward, and mildly 
observed : " I wish those confounded Bomans had pecked in the ruts 
before they left this part of the country ! " 

MB. smith's boldness AND DECISION. 147 

iDg earnestness. We have become so refined in our 
tastes, and there is such a reduction of intellect, educa- 
tion, habits, and consequently of character, to the same 
level, that the word enthusiasm has almost become one 
of reproach. An ardent or enthusiastic man is pointed 
out as a madman ; and yet it might be said of Tom 
Smith, as it was of the heroic admiral, " I wish we had 
five hundred men as mad as he." By this quality, be 
its estimate what it may, he achieved his renown ; and, 
what is more extraordinary still, his ardour never flagged 
nor abated. Whether it be ambition or any other passion 
stimulating the senses or quickening the understanding, 
most men gradually tire of the pursuit. The attainment 
and fruition of an object gradually lessen our excitement, 
and we seek a renewal and revival of our activity in varied 
interests and in fresh pleasures. But we find Mr. Smith 
year after year following the same pursuit, in the highest 
degree animating, although having no very great novelty or 
variety to recommend it, with unabated ardour, with 
almost increasing zest. Can it be wondered at, with such 
constancy of purpose as this, and talent to execute co -ex- 
tensive with it, that he carried the science of hunting as 
near to perfection as it is capable of, and retained for it its 
national distinctiveness 1 It would be difiicult, perhaps, to 
separate from each other any of the numerous ingredients 
which, combined with and assisting the enthusiasm we have 
described, went to raise Mr. Smith to the high rank he 
will ever possess among British sportsmen. Bacon says, in 
his admirable essay on State Government, that boldness is 
the first in civil despatch, boldness second, boldness third ; 
meaning that, for all practical purposes, all other qualities 
are immeasurably subordinate, to this. In like manner it 
may be said of fox-hunting, that boldness * in riding makes 
up three-fifths of eminence in it. The fourth and fifth parts 

• a ;pirgt attribute of a good hnntsman is courage ; next, hands and. 
seat." — Beckfobd. 


-wantiDg may, however, mar the other three. But this was not 
go with Mr. Smith. He was fully master of the details and 
minutiae of the sport, and his judgment was equal to his 
courage. His observation was so quick, and his intuitive 
knowledge of the animal he pursued so ready, that he never 
hesitated a moment at a check what to do, and always could 
give a good reason for what he did. '' Quickness of deci- 
sion," observes an excellent judge, " is the life and soul of 
fox-hunting." Mr. Maxse was heard to say, that the reason 
why Mr. Smith showed such famous sport in Leicestershire 
was, that when his hounds came to a check, he would just 
as soon ride over any high gate or tremendous fence, if he 
thought that the scent lay that way, as make his cast over 
the open field.* 

" As a huntsman," said one who well knew what a com- 
bination of qualities is necessary for the attainment of ex- 
cellence in that department of the science of fox-hunting, 
" I fearlessly put Mr. Smith in the first class. He has even 
to this day" (in 1841, when the squire was sixty-five years 
old) " all the requisites to make him such : zeal, quickness 
of perception, untiring perseverance, a ready judgment when 
in difficulty, and horsemanship quite unequalled for daring 
and duration by any man of this or " any other age. For 
example, what said his brother-sportsmen of him only last 
season in Lincolnshire ? Why, that there was no man who 
could get over, or out of when in, the wide and deep 
drains of that country, so cleverly as Tom Smith did. When 
too wide to be cleared, as I was informed by an eye-witness, 
he would force his horse into them diagonally, then, alight- 
ing from his saddle and scrambling up the bank, he would 
pull his horse after him ; and this when past his grand 
climacteric." t 

* " The first thing and siw qud non of a huntsman is to ride up to 
his head hounds."— Beokpord, p. 177. 
t Nimrod's ** Hunting Beminiscences," p. 298. 


The following anecdote was related by Mr. Child, a 
Hampshire yeoman of the right sort, who always had a fox 
for Mr. Smith in Wilster Wood : « The first time Mr. Smith 
ran a fox into the Newbury Yale, I and some friends, seeing 
he pointed for the meadows near East Woodhay, got for- 
^»•a^d to a tremendous leap, that had often stopped the whole 
Craven Hunt. It was a stile, bank, and hedge, and a liberal 
allowance of water on the far side. Down came the squire 
on Screw-driver, and took it in his stroke. This did not so 
much surprise us, but what did was, that he never once 
turned round to look at it ; whereas, had one of our fellows 
got over it, he would have looked at it for a week and talked 
of it for a year.'* 

His notion of a huntsman was that he should always be 
with his hounds. On this principle he invariably acted ; 
for he well knew that unless a master of fox-hounds, hunt- 
ing them himself, had head, hand, and heart, and could be 
close to his hounds when they were close to their fox, he 
could not do his duty as it should be done. One day when 
he had the Quorndon, after a sharp affair of forty minutes, 
the fox, quite beaten, ran into a small covert with a lane 
half round it. The field kept the lane ; the squire exclaim- 
ing : " They will have him in five minutes ! " leapt into the 
adjoining paddock, at the further end of which there was a 
tremendously thick buUfincher. iTnused to denial, he rode 
at it, and fell with his horse on a heap of rough stones on 
the other side, tearing his white cords most piteously. He 
was up again in a moment, and as unconcerned as if he had 
fallen out of his arm-chair, and did kill his fox within the 
five minutes. Mr. Smith had a great contempt for a man 
who attempted to hunt a pack of fox-hounds and could not 
ride to them ; and he never scrupled to express his opinion 
whenever any such instances came under his own observa- 
tion, as no man was more fairly entitled to do. 

The following anecdote of his courage was related by 


Nimrod, at the time when the circnmstance occorred. It 
was during the last year Mr. Smith hunted Leicestershire. 
He had a run of nineteen minutes point blank, known 
to the present time by the name of the "Belvoir Day." 
It happened that the pace was so good, and the country so 
severe, that no one was with the hounds towards the last 
except the squire of Tedworth and Mr, John White, a well- 
known sportsman of that day. These two came to a fence 
60 high and so strong that there was apparently only one 
place at all practicable, and this was in the line Mr. White 
was taking. Mr. Smith consequently was obliged to turn 
bis horse to this place, expecting to find White well over ; 
but instead of this he found him well " bullfinched," that is, 
sticking fast in the hedge. " Get on ! " says Mr. Smith. 
" I cannot," replies Mr. White : « I am fast." " Bam the 
spurs into him ! " roared out the squire, '' and pray geft out 
of the way." " If you are in such a hurry," rejoined Mr. 
White, " why don't you charge me ? '* Mr. Smith never 
spoke, but did charge him, and sent him and his horse into 
the next field, when away they both went «gain as if 
nothing had happened, the squire of course soon making 
to the front. 

Another remarkable run with Mr. Smith's hounds, when 
in Leicestershire, is also thus chronicled by Nimrod : 

" I will mention a day's sport which I had when Mr. Smith 
had the Quorn hounds, which I have no doubt is fresh in the 
recollection of many who witnessed it, for it was a brilliant 
one, and such as no other country in the world could have 
shown on that day. It was on the 17 th of April, and as 
Tom Wingfield (the whipper-in) observed, * a kind of day 
more fit for growing cucumbers than for hunting.' It was, 
however, allowed to be the second best day's epoft of the 
year. We had had one good burst of sixteen minutes with- 
out a check, best pace, heads up, and sterns down. J7he 
fox of the day, however, was found in Holt Cov«r, and took 


OS away twelve miles in fifty-eigbt minntes, with only one 
trifling check of eight minutes, before he died. The coun- 
try he went over could only be compared to Newmarket 
Heath, enclosed with strong fences. That there was dis- 
tress among the horses it is needless to observe, after the 
above description. Mr. Smith rode his famous Jack-o'-Lan- 
tem in his usual style. Seeing Mr. Lindlow on The Clipper, 
encouraging the hounds to a scent at a gateway, he was be- 
ginning to rate us, saying that * the hounds had been pressed 
upon, and that we only wanted a puff for our horses.' At 
this moment the chase was resumed, and Lindlow turning 
round, aptly remarked, *that he had had his puff, or he 
would not have been there.* The fox lived about eight 
minutes longer, and Mr. Smith, seeing two couples of his 
young hounds leading, appeared transported with delight. 
He never turned his horse's head so much as ten yards to 
the right or to the left for an open gate, or for a gap, but 
rode by the side of his pack, cheering them to their fox 
(which he knew must die) in a manner and at a pace that I 
shall never forget." 

It is well known what a number of brooks there are in 
the Quom and Belvoir counties, and most sportsmen, if they 
were never out with Mr. Smith, have at all events heard 
what a capital hand he was at getting over them. He once 
charged the river Welland, which divides the counties of 
Leicester, Northampton, and Kutland, and is said to be alto- 
gether impracticable, at the end of one of the most desperate 
runs ever known. This' knack he had of getting across 
water is to be attributed to his resolute way of riding to 
hounds, by which his horses knew that it was in vain to 
refuse whatever he might put them at. A remarkable ex- 
ample of this occurred in the Harborough country. He 
was galloping at three-parts speed down one of the large 
grass fields which abound in that district, in the act of 
bringing his hounds to a scent, and was looking back to see 


Jf they were ooming. Exactly in the middle of the field, 
and in the line immediately before his horse, was a pool of 
water, into which the animal leaped, thinking it useless to 
refuse, and of course being unaware that he was not intended 
to take it. This horse would doubtless have jumped into 
the Thames or the Severn in a similar manner, had they 
been before him. His wonderful influence over his hunters 
was strongly exemplified at another time, but in rather a 
different manner. He had mounted, on his celebrated 
horse Cicero, a friend, who complained of having nothing 
to ride : 

'' A sportamaa so keen, that he rides miles to covert. 
To look at a fence, he dares not ride over.*' 

The hounds were running breast-high across the big pasture- 
lands of Leicestershire, and Cicero was carrying his rider 
like a bird, when a strong flight of rails had almost too 
ugly an aspect of height, strength, and newness, for the 
liking of our friend on his " mount." The keen eye of 
Assheton Smith, as he rode beside him, at once discerned 
that he had no relish for the timber, and seeing that he was 
likely to make the horse refuse, he cried out, " Gome up, 
Cicero!" His well-known voice had at once the desired 
effect, but Cicero's rider, by whom the performance was not 
intended, left his " seat " vacant, fortunately without any 
other result than a roll upon the grass. 

" I have said,*' remarks Nimrod, " that Mr. Smith's make 
and shape, together with a fine bridle-hand, have assisted 
him in rising to perfection as a horseman ; and I will pro- 
duce one or two proofs of the use he made of these by no 
means subaltern endowments. I have seen him riding 
horses which scarcely required a bridle, such as his large 
Grey Horse, Jack-o'Lantem, Gift, Tom Thumb, Gadsby, 
tind others equally temperate and agreeable ; and I have 
seeu and heard of him riding some that no other men could 


have ridden 09 he rode- them, Mr. landow's Clipper was^ for 
example, so bard a poller with hounds that the hit^ called 
' the Clipper bit,' was made purposely to suit him ; and a 
most severe one it is. On a proposal being one day made, 
that Lindow and Smith should exchange horses for the 
day, the latter, previously to mountiog the Clipper, put his 
curb-chaiD into his pocket. ' Good-bye to you ! ' said his 
friend, as the hounds were finding their fox, 'we shall never 
see you again.' He rode, however, in his usual place, — 
alongside the pack." * 

^' I once saw," relates a friend, " a fine specimen of Mr. 
Smith's hand and nerve in going off of a frost, when the 
hone was not quite out of the ground. We were running 
a fox hard over Salisbury Plain, when all at once his horse 
came on a treacherous fiat, greasy at top, as sportsmen say, 
but hard and slippery underneath. The horse he rode was 
a hard puller, and very violent, named Piccadilly ; and the 
least check from the bridle, when the animal began to 
blunder, would have to a certainty made him slip up. 
Here the fine riding of the squire shone conspicuously. 
He lefb his horse entirely alone, as if he were swimming ; 
and after floundering about and swerving for at least a 
hundred yards, PiccadiUy recovered himself and went on as 
if nothing had happened. I saw him," he adds, " on tLe 
same horse on another occasion, when a fox was sinking, 
and his horse so beaten that he could scarcely ride at a 
fence, charge a stiff wattled hedge. The horse got over, 
but came down on his head, nevertheless was quickly 
righted again. The same fence, with a ditch yrow him, was 
to be encountered again at going out of the field ; and here 
the squire's address was no less remarkable than had been 
his cool courage. When within about twenty yards of the 
fence he had a pull at his horse, and after a slight pause 

* " Hunting Reminiscences." 


sent him at the fence as if he were Tiding at water. The 
impetus carried him over the ditch, and he landed safely in 
the next field, bringing the best part of the fence along 
with him. A timid rider, or one with less presence of 
mind, in either of the above positions, would inevitably 
have met with what is known in sporting parlance as ' a 

He was once drawing for a fox on his famous horse Fire- 
Eling (his horse and yacht of that name did him alike good 
service), when he came to a precipitous bank at the end of 
a meadow, with a most formidable drop into a hard road. 
"You cannot get out there, sir,'* said a polite farmer. "I 
should like very much to see the place where we " (patting 
Fire-King) " cannot go,*' was the reply ; and down he rode, 
to the astonishment of the field. This circumstance 
occurred at Martin, near "Wexcombe, and is spoken of to 
this day as a moat dangerous leap. 

Mr. Smith*s character as a master of hounds has been 
ably and faithfully drawn by Mr. Kewdegate, member for 
North Warwickshire, himself an excellent sportsman and 
daring rider : ** Mr. Smith was, in the field, sometimes 
very rough-tempered, and cared not whom he ofiended. 
He thus made many personal enemies, or rather exasperated 
those who were jealous of his pre-eminence ; but he was 
almost always just in his anger, and only fell foul of those 
who were spoiling sport. He had one great characteristic : 
he was determined that hunting should be a sport worthy 
of gentlemen, and of which ladies need not be ashamed. As 
master of a country he would not countenance, nay more, 
he very actively discoti/iUeTumcedy gambling, drinking, and 
debauchery. He wa.s not foolish enough to set himself up 
as a severe moralist, but he was steadfastly opposed to what 
might be called the ostentation of vice. He was, in fact, a 
good man^ with all the qualities of a first-rate soldier ; 
and these, I believe, produced the cordial friendship 


wliich the late Duke of Wellington always extended to 

''There can, I think, he little donht that Mr. Smith 
would have made a first-rate cavalry general. In ail his 
oondact, at home and in every country, he manifested a 
sincere desire to promote the best interests of all classes 
within his reach, and did this effectually, hut without the 
slightest ostentation; while his quickness, foresight, and 
determination were undoubted. His devotion to hunting 
was, no doubt, exaggerated ; but beneath it lay the purpose 
of fostering the manly qualities of his fellow-countrymen of 
all classes; an object of the deepest importance at the 
period of peril to this country which existed .when he first 
became distinguished as a sportsman (1805 to 1815). I 
heartily wish we had a Tom Smith now." 

"The greatest riding period with the Quom," observes 
the author of the Post and Paddock, " is generally allowed to 
be that of Lords Jersey, Qerraaine, and Forester, and Messrs. 
Cholmondeley (afterwards Lord Delamere), Assheton Smith, 
Lindow, and his twin brother, Mr. Eawlinson, who was as 
fiimous over Leicestershire on Spread Eagle as he was on 
the turf with Coronation. It used to be said that Mr. 
Bawlinson's riding was the better for his horse, but that 
Mr. Lindow sold his horses better." " Mr. Meynell," says 
Dick Christian, in his "Post and Paddock" lecture, "was 
like a regular little apple-dumpling on horseback ; Mr. 
Assheton Smith and Lord Forester, they were the men for 
me. Lord Jersey, too, my word 1 he was very good; and Sir 
Charles Knightley, he was one of Lord Jersey's stamp. 
How he would go, to be sure ! he toould be with the 

* "I own," said Sir Huasey, afterwards Lord, Vivian, himself a 
distinguished soldier, (upon the order of the day for the third reading 
of the proposed Game Bill,) '* I am proud of sporting ; and the greatest 
commander the world ever had has declared that he found men who 
followed the hounds brave and valiant soldiers." 


hounds, to see them do their work. Blame me, but I've 
seen him, at the end of a run, all blood and thorns. Mr. 
Smith never galloped his horses at fences, he always drew 
them up. He had little, low-priced horses when he first 
came into this country, but he rode them so as no man ever 
will again, and they would do auything ; get into bottoms 
and jump out of them like nothing. And how handy he 
made them ! Those were different days; you might find at 
Melton Spinney and run to Billesden Coplow, and not cross 
a ploughed field. I have seen Mr. Holyoake go like dis- 
traction for fifteen minutes, but Mr. Smith and Mr. Greene, 
and Mr. Qilmour, and Lord Wilton, they are the men to go 
when others are leaving offi" * 

Horses sometimes get second wind. Mr. Robert Can- 
ning's Conqueror once showed symptoms of distress, and 
began, to kick his belly with his hind legs. "You are 
not going to stop, are you ? " said his master. The 
animal rallied at the well-known voice, and took a large 
fence out of the very field where this circumstance occurred. 

Sometimes fox-hunters will resort to an ingenious device 
to conceal the fact that their horses are beaten. Kot loug 
ago, in Leicestershire, during a run in which the pace had 
been very severe, a rider was observed walking very leisurely 
towards a stiff fence, but without any intention of taking 
it, with a horse's shoe in his hand. " What is the matter?" 
said a friend, " why don't you screw him at it ? " " Can't 
you see," was the reply, " that he has cast a shoe ? " 
" Why," observed a third, who had just come up, " my 
good fellow, your horse has got fowr shoes ow." 

Among the foremost of Mr. Smith's field, the last season 
he hunted in Leicestershire, was Colonel Wyndham, of the 
Scotch Greys, who had returned to England after the battle 

* It was about this period of Mr. Smith's career that Lord Middleton 
presented him with foar first-rate hunters, as an acknowledgment of 
the excellent sport he had enjoyed with his hounds in four successive 


of Waterloo. "Wyndham was a very powerful man, and 
could, even in those days, get no change out of sixteen 
stone, but no fence ever stopped him. When he could not 
get (wer, he got through ; where a bullfinch * seemed impe- 
netrable, the horsemen would cry out, " Where's Wynd- 
ham % " and he soon made a gap big enough for almost a 
whole regiment to pass. Nor was it less extraordinary 
how, with the Leicestershire pace, and with his heavy 
weight, he got to his fox. On one occasion, when Tom 
Smith thought he had it all his own way, and the hounds 
were running into their fox, Mr. Smith turned round to see 
how far he was ahead of the field, and to his surprise saw 

Wyndham close at his heels. " How the d 1 did y(m 

get here 1 " exclaimed the squire, who had some difficulty " 
in retaining the lead. That lead his fellow-sportsmen occa- 
sionally endeavoured to snatch from him, but very seldom 
with success. Sir F. Goodricke, then Frank Holyoake, a 
very dashing rider, and others, rode against him in a memo- 
rable run, but Smith went clean away from them all, and 
Baronet, Sir James Musgrave's horse, on which Holyoake 
was mounted, was killed in the attempt. A steak from 
this renowned horse was afterwards served up at Melton, 
and after William Cooke had partaken of it, his friends 
jokingly asked him if he knew what he had eaten. When 
informed it was a slice of his old friend Baronet, instead of 
being disgusted, as they expected, he immediately replied, 
" Give me another cut off the same steak." Once, after a 
severe run in Leicestershire, when the fox was sinking, and 
Mr. Smith found his horse in a like plight, ^' Oh, if I had 

* An ox-fence consists of a wide ditch, a blackthorn hedge, and a 
flight of rails. A thorn -fence is one composed of a ditch and a thick, 
bushy, or blackbird hedge, leaning over to the grass ; it is called a Bnll- 
flnch, or ^ullfincher. '' Doubles " are the most difficult and dangerous 
jumps of all. Here there is a ditch and rail, then another ditch and 
Another rail. Dick Christian calls the *' bullfinch" a " regular stitcher." 
They are thickest between Ashby Pastures and Barkby Holt. 


but a fresh horse," he exclaimed, ** I would soon settle him." 
"Get upon mine,** said Mr. John Cook, who was ridingp 
Lancet, a famous horse, of great value. This offer was at 
once accepted, and the whoop soon followed. Instead of 
the expected panegyric when the horse was restored to the 
owner, the remark of the squire was, ** I heard that he was 
a plcUeTy but he is as slow as a donkey." The fieu^t was^ he 
was annoyed at his own horse being beaten. 

The " Post and Paddock," however, records, in the fol- 
lowing terms, an occasion on which Mr. Smith was fairly 
conquered : " George Marriott once, on old Prince, in a 
well-remembered run, played first to Mr. Smith. The 
hounds had just found at Whetstone Gorse, when Sir 
Bobert Leighton said to Marriott : < Don't ride to day, as 
Mr. Canning wants to settle about a match for you to ride 
with the old horse against all comers at sixteen stone for a 
thousand guineas.' * You are too late,' replied George ; 'he 
would break my neck if I tried to stop him now.' Away 
they both went, side by side, Sir Eoberb and George, till 
they reached a wide brook, which old Prince cleared in a 
stride, pricking his ears up as usual, while his companion 
floundered and fell in. The old horse went for fifty minutes 
without a check, and Mr. Smith could only take a second 
place with him." 

Mr. Assheton Smith found a formidable rival in Mr. 
Adamson, who hunted the Yine hound& On one occasion, 
when Mr. Smith was out, these two had shaken off every 
other man in the field. 

'' Each seems to say, Gome let ns try our speed ; 
Away they scour, impetuous, ardent, strong, 
The green turf trembling, as they bound along.'* 


At last Adamsons horse declined, and Tom Smith 
played solo to his pack. 

Occasionally Mr. Smith read a severe lecture to his 
field in pithy terms. A groom in the service of a worthy 


bai:onet was ridiug his master's back home, when it broke 
away with him, and ran slap through the body of the pack, 
who were trotting up to draw " Carthanger " in Conholt 
Park. Old Cruiser, a splendid hound, was the victim, and 
lay sprawling on his back. The servant, having at last 
stopped his runaway horse,* came back, intending an 
apology, when he was thus addressed by Mr. Smith : " If 
you think, sir, you have not done quite mischief enough 
already, pray ride through my hounds again ; but if you 
think you Iiave, go home as quickly as you can." At 
another time, " Bob," the second whip, hallooed a hare away 
by mistake for a fox from Everley Gorse. The squire and 
the hounds were soon at the spot, and, of course, not a 
hound would speak. " I do not know, sir, whether you are 
ashamed of yourself, but my hounds, you see, are heartily 
ashamed of you,'' was the remark. 

A ludicrous circumstance once occurred at Chute Gorse> 
illustrative of the discipline Mr, Smith always maintained 
in the field, and of the especial care he took to keep all 
persons back from heading a fox when he was drawing a 
gorse. All were, as usual, in their right places, when he 
espied a white smock-frock in a gap, just at the spot where 
he expected the fox to break, and at this intruder he 
hallooed, and waved his hat, using at the same time rather 
v/nfoMjo/rry&nJta/ry hmgvxige. **Do ride up," said he to a 
friend at his side, " and make that scoundrel come back." 
" He will not attend to anything I can say," was the reply. 
" Then, by Jove, if he does not walk off I will horsewhip 
him," said the now furious squire. Up, accordingly, he 
rode, and just as he was raising his whip he discovered, 
amid the laughter of the field, in which he heartily joined, 
that the object of his indignation was a mauk or scarecrow 
to frighten away the rooks. 

* A horse onoe ran awaj, during the chase, with a bold and deter- 
mined sportsman ; he placed his bands over the eyes of the animal, 
and thus stopped him. 


"Will you not wait for Captain Coldstream?" said an 
officious yeoman, as Mr. Smith was moving on to draw 
Clatford Oakcuts. " I have had three hundred captains 
out before now, sir," was the response, " but never better 
sport for it.'* 

On another occasion, he exclaimed, " Why do you lie 
there, howling and exposing yourself?" addressing a rustic, 
whom his horse had slightly kicked. " My dear Tom," 
remarked his more feeling friend, Mr. Henry Pierrepont, 
"the man is hurt, and why so rough to him?" **0n 
2)rinciple** rejoined the squire ; *' if I had pitied him, he 
would have been there for a week, but now you see he is 
up and well already," 

During the winter of 1815, or the following spring, in a 
run from Barkby Holt, while in the heat of the chase, 
Parson B., a well-known charatter in those days, fell in 
taking a large fence. A bold dragoon coming too quickly 
after him, drove out of the body of the reverend divine 
what little wind was left in it, by making a stepping-stone 
of the prostrate man. Mr. Smith, who beheld this trans- 
gression, instantly attacked the offender in no measured 
terms, when he excused himself by saying that it was not 
his fault, but that of his horse, as he had on only a snaffle 
bridle. " Then, sir, the sooner you go home and get a 
double one the better," replied the Nimrod of unques- 
tioned authority ; thus giving good advice to every 
one who could trust himself to a single rein instead of two. 

" I like to see Squire Smith with the horn on his saddle," 
said Marsh, the sporting shoemaker ; "for he does things 
as should he. If he kills a fox, he kills him, and if he loses 
him he loses him. He does not do as Ben Foot (the Craven 
huntsman) does — ^go muttering after him all day long, and 
worriting him to death at last." Persons in Marsh's 
sphere of life form a very accurate estimate of men and 
things, and as they can feel no jealousy, there is no faintness 
in their praise. 


For good hounds Mr. Assheton Smith would give any 
price. He offered 400 guineas to Lord Forester for his 
bitch Careful, also 100 guineas to Mr. Conyers for Bashful, 
but in both cases their owners refused to part with them. 
Mr. Conyers was almost a match for Mr. Assheton Smith in 
enduring fatigue, and sometimes would ride more than 
sixty miles inclusive to and from covert. He was no great 
hand at taking a fence, but when on his grey horse Canvass, 
whom he rode for seventeen seasons, he was seldom behind. 
Canvass was purchased of Lord Chetwynd for 150 guineas, 
and Mr. Assheton Smith afterwards offered Mr. Conyers 
300 guineas for him without success. 

Mr. My t ton's hounds did not fetch a high price ; their 
master had played such tricks with them, that it was said 
they could hunt anything, " from an elephant to an earwig." 
Lord Middleton, in 1812, gave 1,200 guineas for the pack 
he purchased. Mr. Horlock gave Mr. Warde 2,000 guineas 
for his when he gave up the Craven country. Lord Suffield 
gave Mr. Lambton 3,000 guineas for his hounds without 
seeing them. These prices present a striking contrast to 
the story told by Beckford of an auctioneer, who, having 
sold off all a country gentleman's property, came at length 
to his hounds. " What shall I say, gentlemen ? " said the 
knight of the hammer, " one shilling a piece 1 " On 
sportsmen present making an exclamation of horror, 
" Why," he remarked, " that is more than I would give 
for them." 




Si petis ezemphtr mentis, Titaeqne Tirilis, 

Cihn fortes amnios Anglia Yooe ciet. 
Sive fenuis equo, seu magna incepta sequaiis 

Dux tibi, quiconque es, vir sit hie, " ire viam." 
Kec maid, Venator, campi rapis ardtta carsu ; 

Addust se oomites Man» nemorumque Dea. 


The previous pages of this volume have amply set forth the 
kindliness of Mr. Smith's nature, and have shown that, in 
spite of his peremptory will in exacting strict obedience on 
the part of his retainers and servants, he never feiiled to 
secure their warm and zealous attachment. Before con* 
eluding these reminiscences, it is therefore due alike to his 
memory and to the merits of those who so heartily devoted 
themselves to his service, to make more particular mention 
of some of his favourite huntsmen and whips— admirably 
skilled in their craft — beyond what has already appeared 
incidentally respecting the two Burtons and Shirley. 

When Mr. Smith purchased Sir Bichard Sutton's hounds 
in 1827, they were brought up to Penton Lodge by Jack 
Shirley and George Gardener, Sir Bichard's huntsman and 
whip. Gardener remained as whip at Penton, and Dick 
Burton returned to his old master, with whom he had lived 
ten years in Leicestershire. A neater or better horseman 


than Dick could not be seen, nor one more active either in 
the kennel or field. His quickness in getting hounds to cap 
and halloo from such big spinnies as Collingbourne, Doles, 
and Doyly woods was marvellous ; and his hark halloo, or 
as he pronounced it^ " yaick haUer,^^ hit a hound as hard as 
whipcord Tigress was his especial plague, who, though 
iirst-rate in chase, was " such a one for hare," and always 
hanging. Once, when the hounds were running short with 
a sinking fox, a person clad in a long black coat, with a very 
missionary look about him, and evidently thinking scorn of 
the fiin, inquired of Dick what the dogs were then doing. 
" Why, sir," said Dick, throwing a keen glance up and 
down the inquirer's person, '^ they are preaching his funeral 

At another time, after a capital run, those who were 
lucky enough to be up, came to a sudden, and as they 
feared, a fatal check ; when Dick perceived a shepherd's 
boy with his hat oflf, pointing forward. Dick rode up, laid 
hold of the boy and placing him before him on the saddle, 
galloped on to the point, where the fox was viewed, and 
killed him just getting into a large covert. !N'othing but 
quickness would have saved the run. Dick lived twenty- 
two years with Mr. Smith ; his other masters were 
Mr. Osbaldeston, Lord Southampton, Earl Ducie, and Lord 
Henry Bentinck. He is now (1860) enjoying a green old 
age, " frosty but kindly," at his old haunts near Quomdon. 
When Dick heard that Mr. Smith had been to see Rarey 
and his tamed zebra, he observed, " Ab ! if Mr. Rarey had 
known my old master at twenty-five, to have tamed him 
would have been much more wonderful a task. I recollect 
him in those days," added the old huntsman, *^ riding a 
horse in Leicestershire called Agonistes. He gave him four 
falls before we found a fox. The last fall was over four 
strong draw-rails into a slow hole. The gentlemen laughed 
at him. Mr. Smith says, *If I find a fox in Keythorpe 
spinnies, I will beat every one of you,' They found, had 



fifly minutes without a check, and killed. He did beat 
every one of them. He went as straight as the crow 

Mr. Smith was once running a fox hard by Tangly, 
when the hounds turned up a footpath into a field ; just 
before them was an old woman carrying a bundle of sticks. 
Seeing the hounds in full cry close to her quarters, the old 
girl lashed out right and lefl with her heels. "Ware 
hounds !" shouted Dick Burton. " What, ain't you steady 
from riot at your time of life ? I jest wonder what you'd 
have done when a filly!" When Dick and Tom Day 
whipped in for Mr. Smith, nothing could be more perfect 
than the tovi ensemble of master and men. All had the 
same jaunty balance seat, all were light good hands, all 
first-rate horsemen ; and a fox, when they conspired 
against him, had about as much chance of escape as a 
felon, when Brougham or Scarlett held the adverse brief. 
Exceptions, however, occurred sometimes, and one must be 
noted, when the imperioaa libido of the master saved the 
fox's life. The hounds had been running with a holding 
scent in Collingboume woods, when at the extremitj*^ 
pointing for South Grove, they came out of cover with a 
swing, and after one swerve round, away they went like a 
flock of pigeons for some time mute, as if they had not 
time to say a word ; and then every tongue in the pact 

joined chorus. 

" See how they range, 
Dispersed, how busily this way and that 
They cross, examining with carious nose 
Each likely haunt." — Somebville. 

Unfortunately Mr. Smith did not see them break covert,, 
and when he came up, they were running hard as if in 
view, and with a hare before them. Immediately he blew 
his horn, and Dick had to ride for his life to stop them ; 
and when he headed them, it required something stronger 
than rate and whipcord to turn them. The squire sat stilL 


blowing his horn, but tlie old hounds, instead of going back 
to him, kept trying to get forward, and then when rated 
remained where they were. ** How is this 1" said a sports- 
man present to Dick, when at last he got them back. " If 
that was not a fox, sir," was the reply, " I and those old 
hounds (pointing to Trimbush, Trimmer, Watchman, and 
Vanquisher) ought to be hung up to the kennel door 
without judge or jury." It was afterwards remarked to 
Mr. Smith, that the hounds were a long time coming back. 
* Yes," said he, "I see how it is, but it is too late to rectify 
it." It waa very seldom that he showed this want of con- 
fidence in his hounds.* In the well-known picture of 
Mr. Smith by Femeley, Dick Burton appears the pattern 
of a smart huntsman. 

George Carter came to Mr. Smith with the Grafton 
hounds, when purchased in 1842. At Ted worth he hunted 
the young and old hounds on the Wednesdays and 
Saturdays, Mr. Smith hunting on the other four days. 

" George Carter brought up sixty couples of the Grafton 
hounds. Among these were Sensitive, Saffron, Goneril, 
and Watchman ; Nigel, Collier, and Bertram, were also 
great favourites. Rifleman and Reginald were two of 
Mr. Smith's most famous hounds. They were by Sir R. 
Sutton's Trimmer." t 

" Champion and Chorister, by Ranter, were also two 
noble hounds belonging to Mr. Smith. Saffron was father 
of some of his best stock. He was sold to Mr. Morrell for 
the Old Berkshire." J 

Carter was generally confined to the big woods, Wed- 
nesday's fixture being always Wherwell Wood, containing 
upwards of 3,000 acres, in which George said he had 
passed time enough to qualify him for a settlement as a 

* One of the first characteristics of a good huntsman is to distinguish 
between different scents. Dick Burton was always famous for his 
acute discernment in this respect. 

t '' Silk and Scarlet," p. 284. t Ibid. p. 305. 


parishioner. Whenever any hound in Mr. Smith's pack 
misbehaved himself, he was handed back to Carter's aca- 
demy. The pack, which, as " the Grafton,'* were notorious 
for being hard-runnert, improved wonderfully under the 
judicious management of Carter ; and when in his latter 
years he was left to breed them according to his own 
selection of sires, they became more level to the eye, and, 
like the sisters described by the poet, — 

Facies non omnibus una, 
Nee diversa tamen, qualem decet esse sororum. — Ovid. 

Mr. Smith was much pleased with an original expression 
of Carter's, who liked to see his hounds draw a covert clean, 
and as much in line as possible. Mr. Smith finding him 
once not very well pleased, asked him what was the matter. 
** If you please, sir," said he, " they are zeddhig " (a word 
of his own signifying a zigzag line) " about after their fox." 
George was not a dashing rider, but was seldom far from 
his hounds. It was his favourite remark, " / ride to hunt ; 
master hunts to ride^^ In the last days of the poor old 
squire, he sometimes came out and hunted Carter's pack, 
which a Wiltshire farmer observing, remarked to his com- 
panion : " They be at it dovhMumded^ to-day, neighbour ; 
how's that r' "Why," replied the other, « Carter, he finds 
the fox ; and our squire, he loses 'un." 

No man ever displayed more patieuce and temper with 
young hounds than Carter. When a puppy spoke there 
was no rating, and when a fox was viewed at finding, there 
was no hallooing ; all was done quietly. As a rule, Carter 
held that you could not, in a close-lying large covert, say too 
much in cheering hounds before a fox was afoot, or too little 
afterwards. He once did a clever thing under Doyly large 
covert. The hounds had been running hard for some time, 

* D(yiibl€-handed is a term used by farmew when very busy in their 
harvest, at which period two pitchers and two loaders are used. 


and all at once flung outside ; when an officious fanner 
cracked a whip in their faces. "What are you doing?" 
said Carter. " I saw a hare break just before at that spot," 
lie replied. "Pray let them alone," said George; "they 
liave noses, and what is their use if they cannot distin- 
guish?" In the meantime the hounds, after one flash 
round, settled on their fox, and a good run was the result. 
Sad he listened to the farmer, this chance would have 
been lost, as the fox had slipped away before he saw 
the hare. 

One or two more anecdotes of George will not be 
inappropriate. He was sitting with Will Long and Tom 
Sebright, enjoying the fun at Stockbridge races, when a 
notorious fox-killing keeper, named Watkins, thus addressed 
him : " Come, Mr. Carter, I will spend five shillings on a 
bottle of wine, if you will drink it with me." "I will 
spend half a crown on a rope," replied George, " if you will 
promise to hang yourself on the next tree." Jack Fricker 
and W. Bryce are the present whips under Carter (1860). 
Jack is a very promising sportsman, and when George was 
ill, did credit to the horn on his saddle. Indeed, if there is 
anything in education, Jack could not escape being eminent, 
inasmuch as from a child he was under Dick Burton and 
Mr. Smith, and. afterwards took his degree, a first class, 
under George Carter, a combination of advantages which 
might well be envied by the most aspiring youth at our 
tmiversities, or by the most distinguished pupils of old 

George Carter was always a famous runner and dancer, 
and used particularly to distinguish himself at the servants' 
Christmas Ball, given every year at Tedworth. He could, 
they said, put more steps into a figure than any man within 
the limits of Tedworth Hunt. He performed an extraor- 
dinary feat, when a young man, in tie following manner : — 
An overflow of the river had enabled the deer to escape out 
of some gentleman's park in Warwickshire, with whom 


Carter then lived. He and four other young fellows started 
on foot on the slot of a buck, and determined to take him. 
They first came up with him in a slough half full of water, 
out of which he bolted, and took flight pretty straight 
across the country, with his pursuers at a respectful 
distance. On, however, they went, seldom viewing him, 
but never losing his track. Carter at last became the 
^' leading hound,** and marked him up to some pales, along 
which was a deep wet ditch, tangled with briars and rushes. 
Carter saw by his track that he had hesitated to jump the 
pales, and had gone down the ditch to the right and then 
to the left. This satisfied him that the buck was some- 
where " harboured ; " and, looking very closely, he at last 
espied his nose knd eyes just peering out of the water. 
Without waiting for " hound No. 2," who was just coming 
up, in he went, and a fearful struggle took place. Carter 
clinging to him as if wrestling ; and at last, with the assist* 
ance of the rest of the party, they secured him, and walked 
him back in triumph among them to the Park, whence 
they had started in the morning, after an animated chase of 
nearly twenty miles. 

G«orge used to say a good thing sometimes in a quaint, 
quiet sort of way. A certain nobleman in the Tedworth 
Hunt, a good friend to foxes, was sometimes so excited, as 
to ride too near, and press hounds. One day when the 
venandi immensa cupido was very strong upon him, he rode 
too close to them at a check, when Carter thus imparted 
his ideas to a friend who rode beside him : " I heartily 
pray that the day may come when his Lordship may hunt a 
pack of hounds of his own ; and have another Lord, jiist 
exactly like hitrndf^ as one of his field." 

Carter's religious faith, and fidelity to his old master, 
were strongly but very quaintly exemplified in the following 
manner. After Mr. Smith's death, when it was generally 
expected at Tedworth that he would be buried in the 
Mausoleum, George sought an interview with an old 


friend of the family, and witli much earnestness made the 
following proposition : — 

" I hope, sir, when I and Jack Fricker and Will Bryce 
(the Whips) die, we may be laid alongside master in the 
Mausoleum, with Ham Ashley and Paul Potter,* and three 
or four couple of his favourite hounds, in order that we may 
be all ready to start again together in the next world ! " 

Quae cura nitentes 
Pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure rep6stos. 

ViBG. jEn, vi. 

Mr. Smith had a very high opinion of Tom Wingfield, 
who was with him in Leicestershire. He had been first 
whip to Lord Sefton on the death of Jack Raven. Mr. 
Smith used to say he was the cleverest fellow he ever had 
with hounds, but not of an amiable temper. He was still 
alive in 1860, and in his eighty-fifth year; he then resided 
at Ashbourne in Derbyshire. 

An anecdote of Tom Wingfield was related with no little 
zest by the squire himself. When both master and man 
were bordering on eighty years of age, they happeifed to 
meet, after a long lapse of time, when the following con- 
versation arose : " May I be so bold as to ask, sir," said 
Tom Wingfield, " whether you can manage them there big 
places as well as you used to in Old Jack-6'-Lantern's 
days ? " "I hear no complaints," was the squire's reply, 
" and I believe my nerve is as good as ever." " Ah, sir," 
said Tom, with a sigh and a sorrowful look, "it is not so 
with me ; for although my sight is dim, them there big places 
looks twice as big to me as ever they used to^ 

" Is that a favourite horse," inquired a young aspirant to 
honours of Tom Wingfield, when out once with Sir Thomas 
Mostyn's hounds in the Brill country. Before replying, 
Tom threw his keen single eye over the person of the 
youth, and observing how green he was about the boots and 

* Two excellent hunters. 


the breeches, and how redolent of Alma Mater (he had just 
entered at Oxford), " They be cUl favourites," he said 
quietly. " Can you say so much of your larning hooks ? " 

Chorister was one of Mr. Smith's most valuable hounds, 
and was painted by Mr. Ferneley in his great picture of the 
Tedworth hunt, which we shall have to mention presently. 
" The squire had been absent from Quorn for a short time,** 
related the artist to the author, " and on his return was 
looking through his stables, when the appearance of some 
of his horses did not please him. He began to find fault 
with his groom, Tom Jones, when the old man, to divert 
his master's attention and avoid further reprimand, said 
in his odd way, * Did Wingfield tell you Chorister's dead 1 ' 
* Chorister dead ! Chorister dead ! ' exclaimed Mr. Smith ; 
and away he rushed at once to inquire about the hound, a 
very beautiful yellow-pied." " He was wonderfully fond," 
Mr. Femeley added, " of his hounda" 

The recollections of these eminent huntsmen respecting 
their master would be incomplete without the following nar- 
rative, by George Carter, of his services under Mr. Smith, 
who, in 1859, still headed the Tedworth pack : — 

" I came to Tedworth on the 1st April, 1842, and on my 
arrival with the Grafton hounds, both old and young, when, 
added to Mr. Smith's old hounds and young ones, I never saw 
so many together before nor since. We had upwards of two 
hundred couples. In the spring we drafted them to about 
one hundred and four couples, and that number we kept to 
begin the season with. Mr. Smith had a dog pack and a 
bitch pack, and in each he had twenty-six couples. I 
hunted the old hounds and the young, and my pack 
amounted altogether to about fifty couples. Mr. Smith 
hunted Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; I 
hunted Wednesdays and Saturdays, and that we did for 
fourteen years ; and very often, if Mr. Smith had a short 
day on Thursday, he would hunt the same pack on Satur- 
day. He would go six or eight miles north of Tedworth, 

GEORGE carter's NARRATIVE. 171 

and I went ten or twelve miles south. This we did many 

" David Edwards was Mr. Smith's first whip ; he hunts 
the Cheshire pack at the present time. William Cowley 
was his second man. George Rutt rode Mr. Smith's second 
horse, and John Fricker rode his third ; he generally had 
out three horses a day. 

"His favourite horses when I first came to him were 
Rory, Cracker, Election, Hailstone, Hungerford, Pantaloon, 
Rochelle, Netheravon, Ham Ashley, and Fire King. About 
the latter part of Mr. Smith's time, he rode a favourite 
horse which he bought of Sir Richard Sutton, and called 
Paul Potter. There was also a little chestnut mare which 
was a great favourite. Mr. Smith called her Blemish. She 
was a very nice animal. 

" Mr. Smith did not think so much about favourite hounds 
as some gentlemen. He certainly had a few favourites, 
such as Royalist, Conqueror, Purity, and Charity.* There 
was also a favourite dog hound which we called Nigel. He 
once found a fox in a spinney and killed it himself. We had 
a stud hound, a Bel voir- bred dog, Bertram by name, a won- 
derful good one. We now have an old dog. Nelson, which 
Mrs. Smith wished me to keep as long as he lived, quite a 
favourite of Mr. Smith. This hound would choose to go to 
him, and did to the last, and was the only one Mr. Smith 
knew at last. 

" I know but little of Mr. Smith's good runs, as I very 
seldom went out with him ; but for ten or twelve years he 
had excellent sport for such a nasty flinty country. I 
must tell you that he had first-rate sport, by the number of 
foxes killed in a season. We never began club-huntiug 

* These hounds are represented around Mr. Smith, who is on Bob 
Eoy, in the picture by Saxby, presented to Mrs. Assheton Smith 
by the county of Hants. The squire's likeness in this picture is, how- 
ever, not so good as in that by Cooper, from which the frontispiece to 
these Beminiscenoes has been engraved. 



antil September, and left off by Lady-day. We have killed 
sixty and seventy brace of foxes in a season. I went 
every night to see Mr. Smith at nine o'clock, p.nL, and 
that I did for fifteen sea8on& I should think no man in 
the world rode more miles than Mr. Smith did, for he 
would ride miles round a covert when other people were 
standing still." 

Side by side with Greorge Carter's narrative may be 
inserted the Tedworth entry of young hounds for May, 1859. 













1 Fatal. 





Bonny LassJ 
Fair Maid \ 




Rocket ^ 





Juniper " 



Jewess J 
Barnabas . 

■*•' •e*'* 



Ditto . 

Nimrod ' 
Notable J 
Brilliant 1 


Lord Yarborough's 

Ditto, Nestor .... 

Ditto, ditto 



Betsy J 
Comrade . 


Fickle j 
Roderick . 


Ditto . . 


There were at that time thirty couple of dog hounds in 
the kennels at Tedworth, and twenty-five and half couple 


of bitches : the height of the dogs ranging from twenty- 
three and a half to twenty-four inches, and that of the 
bitches averaging about twenty-two and a half. In the 
days of Solyman, Conqueror, and Watchman, the hounds 
were much larger, but Mr. Smith found that the Hamp- 
shire country required a smaller hound than the Leicester- 

While on the subject of hounds, we are naturally 
drawn to advert to the splendid picture of the Hunt at 
Ted worth, painted at Penton in 1829, by Mr. Ferneley, 
who came expressly from Leicestershire into Hants, and 
was the squire's guest for a fortnight, for this purpose. Mr. 
Smith, as has been already mentioned, is on Ayston, with 
Dick Burton, his huntsman, standing at the side of the Big 
Orey ; Tom Day, the first whip, on Reformer ; and Bob 
Edwards, the second whip, holding Anderson, Mr. Smith's 
second horse. The numerous hounds in the picture are all 
portraits. Among those most famous are Rifleman, stand- 
ing close to Dick Burton, who has a pair of couples in his 
hand. Watchman, Dimity, Chorister, Dabcbick, Trimbush, 
Tomboy, Traffic, Reginald, Rubicon, Roundley, Rosy, Com- 
modore, and Clinker. Trimbush is looking up at Mr. Smith, 
while Chorister stands under his horse's head, and Rifleman 
with the huntsman is at his side. In front of the picture 
are Commodore and Watchman, while Rarity is gamboling 
towards her master. Under the tree, in the background, 
sits Remus, a well-known hound. On the left is Tedworth 
House. The sportsman in the green coat just about to 
mount his horse in the distance is Mr. Northeast, the agent 
of the Tedworth estates, famous for his judgment and expe- 
rience in the breeding of Southdown sheep. Speaking of 
this picture, and of the principal figure in it, Mr. Ferneley 
says, in a letter written on the 23rd of October, 1859 : " It 
gives me much pleasure to hear of the publication of a 
memoir of so excellent a sportsman and so good a man. It 
is now fifty -three years since I first saw him ; he was riding 


his horse Jack-o'-Lantern. I saw him near Erisby Gorse, 
trying to get his horse ]over a flight of rails six or seven 
times, but he refused, and Mr. Smith had to take him to 
another phice before he could succeed." Mr. Femeley adds : 
" He was the firgt redrcocu I painted, and on Jack-o'-Lan- 
tern. The picture was bought by Mr. Mayler, and at his 
death it was sold, and I do not know what became of it. 
This was in 1806, the year Mr. Smith first took the Quorn 
hounds. I also painted his portrait, with his hounds, for 
the Earl of Plymouth. In the same picture were portraits 
of Lords Plymouth, Aylesford, and Dartmouth, Messrs. P. 
Mills, J. Bradshaw, Paris^ J. "W. Edge, Hinton, &c. This was 
in 1819; and I fear never again will Leicestershire boast 
the assembling together of such thorough sportsmen, as well 
as kind noble-hearted men." In another celebrated picture 
Mr. Smith is conspicuous, viz., in that painted for Sir Kichard 
Sutton by Mr. Frank Grant. Although Sir Hichard and his 
sous, together with the Duke of Rutland, Colonel Lowther, 
and others, occupy the most prominent position in the pic- 
ture, yet the circumstance of their all wearing hunting- 
caps, while Mr. Smith has the usual well-known hat, makes 
it appear as if the hounds were his, and those around him 
his huntsmen and whippers-in. The horsemen in this pic- 
ture are all portraits of eminent sportsmen. A fine 
engraving of it has been made by Bromley. Another ex- 
cellent likeness of Sir Bichard Sutton* on horseback hangs 
in the ante-room at Tedworth. 

" In Lord Plymouth's celebrated Quorn picture by Feme- 
ley, Mr. Smith is standing by the side of Gift, a light 
chestnut (he had him from Sir B. Sutton), with Dick Bur- 
ton holding the rein ; and he is talking to Mr. Mills on his 
iron-grey. Barkly Holt, in the spring of 1815, is the meet ; 

* Sir Richard Sutton's and Mr. Assheton Smith's were the only 
hounds belonging to priTate gentlemen ever known to hunt six days a 



and the eye, passing the church at Hungertou and Qaenby 
Hall, rests upon the fir-clad Billesden Coplow. Dick 
Barton now alone survives of that memorable party 
(1860). Tom Edge is on the back of Gayman. Jack 
Shirley is looking at his favourite hounds from the back of 
young Jack-'o-Lantern. Young Will Burton is lingering 
on the outside to see the throw-ofi^ before he takes his mas- 
ter's hack home."* He was then only fourteen years old, 
and died a few months afterwards. 

Let us proceed to enumerate some remaining qualities in 
Mr. Assheton Smith's character as a huntsman and master 
of hounds. He was scrupulous in all that appertains to the 
etiquette of hunting. He was jealous of lus rights, and 
would allow no hounds but his own to draw a covert, 
however outlying, which he believed to form part of his 
country : on the other hand no man was more courteous 
than he was, on any occasion of packs clashing. His com- 
mendations of a master of harriers, Mr. Willes of Hunger- 
ford Park, on a memorable occasion were unbounded. The 
squire's hounds had met some fifteen miles o% but had run 
their fox into the country of the merry harriers j the blue 
mottles were immediately locked up in a bam, and their 
field joined the fox-hounds. Ko sooner had they met than 
Mr. Assheton Smith rode up to Mr. Willes, and shaking 
him heartily by the hand, said : — ^This is the most sports- 
manlike conduct I ever knew in my life ; I saw you order 
your hounds home as we came over the hilL You must 
come and dine with us to-day and stay two or three more, 
for such things require to be talked over." Some masters 
of fox-hounds have a dislike and contempt for harriers, but 
this fisimous sportsman knew that in skilful hands they 
wei*e very useful in keeping foxes at home and making 
them avoid hedgerows. 

Mv. Assheton Smith hunted the Tedworth coantry for 

* "Silk and Scarlet." 


thirty-two years, during which period no subscription of 
any sort or kind was ever asked for ; but only a request 
made to land-owners to preserve foxes. He was hardly 
ever known to dig a fox, and would not have a terrier in 
his kennel, his opinion being that a good fox might save 
himself if he could. Unless he was " a dirty ringing rascal," 
he woald never allow him to be disturbed, after he went to 
earth,* yet had he killed as many foxes, perhaps more 
than any man of his time, and all were fairly hunted, 
without any mobbing or unfair riding for the sake of blood. 
The strict order he kept the field in greatly facilitated this, 
as he was always in his place to see what was going on ; 
and it was a treat indeed to watch his hounds trying in 
vain, over a well-fenced grass country, to run away from 
him. His average of noses was fifty brace, as George 
Carter can testify who rode with him for seventeen seasons. 
One season he killed seventy brace, the last "worry" 
having taken place on a winding-up day under a broil- 
ing sun. 

We have given pretty good proofs of his popularity with 
all classes, and his liberality to keepers, which last indeed 
almost amounted to profuseness. He always was prone to dis- 
credit complaints of the disappearance of geese and turkeys 
in consequence of the abundance of foxes, but where claims 
for poultry really slaughtered by Beynard were fairly made 
out, he made ample compensation : indeed, the gentlemen 
of the Tedworth Hunt always took care that the farmers 
should be no losers by the care they took in keeping up 
the breed. His respect for the animal who contributed so 
essentially to his health and diversion made him lean to his 
side. If a fox came to his death unlawfully, and it became 
known to the squire, he would dwell upon it with feelings 
of the greatest indignation. Once at the breakfast-table at 
Tedworth, he was intent on reading the newspaper, when 

* Beckford used to say that digging a fox was cold worh. 

MR. horlock's testimony. 177 

suddenly he uttered an expression of horror, and visible 
concern overspread his countenance. The ladies present, 
supposing some great European calamity had occurred, 
hastily asked him what was the matter, when he replied, 
looking over his spectacles, " By Jove, a dog fox has been 
burnt to death in a barn ! *' 

The country which he found so bare of foxes he has left 
most amply stocked. When no longer able to hunt his 
hounds himself, he curtailed his hunting days, and pre- 
sented twenty couple of first-rate hounds to the Craveu, 
a neighbouring pack. For the last two years of his life, 
the hounds may be said to have been kept entirely for the 
amusement of his friends, for although he did go out oa^a- 
sionally in 1856, subsequently to his first severe illness, it 
was rather as a spectator than a master of hounds. At the 
time of his decease, there were ninety couple of hounds in 
his kennel, fifty more at walk in Wales, and thirty in 
Wilts. They used to come up in a caravan by railway to 
Andover. When Carter first entered Mr. Smith's service, 
so great was the number of hounds in the kennel, that 
much nicety of judgment and discrimination was requisite ; 
for it was no easy matter to decide which hound to choose 
and which to reject, where every one was valuable. The 
two veterans (for neither master nor man was at that 
period exactly in the bloom of youth) succeeded by their 
united skill in kennel discipline^ in forming a pack of fox- 
hounds which have been unrivalled in the world. 

Mr. Horlock,* himself an eminent sportsman and first- 
late judge of hounds, thus comments on the Ted worth 
pack. "For a draft of young hounds, I think I should 
select the pack of the wonderful squire of Tedworth, for 
several reasons. First, he has some good old blood, having 
bought the Duke of Grafton's hounds, and before that, he 

* Mr. Horlock hunted that part of Wilts which adjoins the duke of 
Beaufort's country, and also part of Somerset. 



had been breeding largely from Mr. Warde's kenneL His 
hounds have a rongh flinty and woodland country to con- 
tend with, where they must hunt as well as run. In their 
performances they are, like their master, second to none. 
They are not hallooed and hustled about by whippers-in, 
although the squire occasionally is very cheery when things 
go well ; and that happens so often^ that I hardly ever saw 
a day with him when he was not cheery. His hounds^ 
however, are left to do their work pretty much by them- 
selves, and I may venture to say, that no pack of hounds 
in England, Scotland, or Ireland, can beat them in any 
respect. They can show their speed at a racing pace over 
thcf downs, and push along through the large woodlands and 
over the flinty hills (which rattle like broken bottles) at a 
splendid rate indeed ; the wonder is they do not cut their 
legs o& The squire hunts six days a week ; and therefore 
has a large body of hounds in kennel, sometimes nearly a 
hundred couples ; he breeds largely also, and judiciously ; 
the result of great knowledge and long experience.'** 

The number of foxes killed by Mr. Smith during his 
mastership of hounds savours somewhat of the marvellous. 
He assured a brotherwsportsman that he had cut off fifteen 
hundred brushes with a pocket knife which he afterwards 
lost in West Woods. These brushes were his by right, 
both as master of hounds and huntsman. 

Of many of the best horses in his stable we have already 
spoken. The arrangements of his stud were in no wise 
inferior to those of his kenneL He would have no man 
about him who did not thoroughly know his business, and 
his grooms exhibited the style and smartness of their 
master. No man saw more rapidly the good points of a 
horse, however out of condition he might be. This talent 
enabled him often to purchase for trifling sums what 
appeared " screws " to a less practised eye : the owners of 

* "The Management of Hounds," by Scrutator, p. 14. 


these could not recognize tlieir own animals when the 
latter headed the fielpl with Tom Smith in the saddle. To 
have seen him on Ham Ashley, Netheravon, Bory O'More, 
or Jack-o'-Lantem, would remind us of that splendid 
passage in Shakspeare^s "Venus and Adonis," in reading 
which we almost fancy our immortal bard must have 
acquired his knowledge of horseflesh with the South 
Warwickshire hounds : — 

" Look where a painter would surpass the life 

In limning out a well-proportioned steed. 
His art with Nature's workmanship at strife, 

As if the dead the Uviog should exceed : 
So did this horse excel a common one. 
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone. 

Kound-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, 
Broad breast, full eyes, small head, and nostril wide, 

Hi^ crest, short ears, sti-aight legs, and passing strong : 
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide. 

Look what a horse should have, he did not lack. 

Nor a proud rider on so proud a back." 

In the last line we have taken a liberty with the poet, in 
substituting the word nor for save, to make the picture 
exactly represent the squire and his steed. 

The following anecdotes of some runs with the Tedworth 
Hunt have been furnished by an old member of it. The 
descriptive powers of the writer do ample justice to his 

"A fox stole away from Lower Conholt Hanger, and 
waited for us at Mexcombe Wood. I viewed him going 
away, and it was one of those splendid hunting days when 
hounds can run as if tied to a fox. Up and down the per- 
petually undulating hills we rode, pointing first for Wilster 
Wood, through that, and straight for Netherton Hanger, 
down the steep pitch, through the churchyard, and up to 
Faccombe Wood, leaving the village to the left, and Privet 



to the right, through a comer of Charldown to Brick 
Hanger, and into the vale below towards East Woodhay, 
and on to a farm in the meadows. Up to this point there 
was neither cheeky stop, nor tarn. It was in 1826, the first 
year that Mr. Smith hunted from Fenton, before he had 
bought a regular pack from Sir R Sutton : the hounds were 
drafts from fifteen different packs, and most of them akirters. 
This, however, was just the day for them, so glorious was 
the scent, that if one flashed over it, another took up the 
parable, and 

' A cry more tuneable 
Was never boUa'd to, nor chieer'd with horn.* 

At this farm, then, up went their heads, and they stood 
looking about as hounds do when they know the fox i& 
somewhere near, but cannot tell exactly where. The squire 
(on Anderson, a famous little thorough-bred dark-brown 
nag) made a rapid cast around the buildings to make sure 
our fox was not forward. He then jumped off his horse 
and seized a great country fellow by the collar, and swore 
he would horsewhip him if he did not tell him what they 
had done with the fox. The fellow blubbered out, * It wa& 
not 7, it was Charley Dickman as had him.' ' Show him 
to me, if you value your bones,' said the squire ; and while 
they went to look for him, I and the late Mr. Pierrepont 
kept the hounds back in the farm-yard. All at once they 
began baying at the stable-door, which I opened, and they 
rushed at the corn-bin, and in it was the fox in a sack, out 
of which he was turned, and so the tragedy ended. 

" * Now, sir,' said the squire to Mr. Dickman, * give an 
account of yourself, or you or I shall have as good a licking 
as one man can give another.' 

" 'Please, sir,' said Dickman, * I zee'd a fox come into the 
yard, and thinking that Parson Lance's hounds were * wor- 
liting ' the poor crittur, I cotches him up, and was agoing 
to take him over to Squire Smith, of Penton.' 


** This pacified tlie squire, who, putting his hand in his 
pocket and turning down his cuffs again, said, 'Your 
■excuse is a good one, and here is half-a-crown for it, 
although I do not believe a word of what you say.' 

" This was about the best hour and twenty minutes with 
hounds I ever saw, and the best scent — downward all the 

" Another famous run I must record, also in the first year 
of Mr. Smith's reign in Hants and Wilts. We found a 
fox late in the day (when they always run best, being lighter), 
in Collingboume Woods. After one turn there, he broke 
by Honey Bottom, up by Dean Farm, to Scott Poor's, then 
across the hills as if pointing for Fosbury Wood. How- 
ever, leaving this to the right, he bore for Oxenwood and 
.Botley Clump, and we caught a view of him going down 
into the vale from the plantation on Shalboume Hill. 
Down this hill, nearly as steep as the Falls of Niagara^ 
Mr. Smith rode at the head of the field as if he was 
winning the Derby, with his hat off, screaming to his 
hounds; and I shall not forget the gallant way ' little Ander- 
son ' flew over a gate bushed up in the comer of a 
paddock, just before we killed, as the fox faced the open, 
pointing for Stype ; time forty -three minutes, without a 
single check. Here, too, we had like to have had a row. 
A sheep-dog pitched into one of the hounds while break- 
ing up the fox, for which the squire kicked him heels 
over head. 

" * What do you kick my dog for 1 * said a great burly 
shepherd, with a pig eye and a fighting phiz. * Because 
he did not know how to behave himself,' was the squire's 
reply ; * and take care what you do, or I will serve you 
the same,' added he, buttoning up his coat and taking off 
•his gloves. 

'^ The shepherd looked him over from head to foot, and 
then seemed to conclude he had better leave things as 
they were, which perhaps was better for both, as the squire 


was in his last half hundred, and jonth, weight, and wind 
were on the debit side of the balance-sheet. 

'' The best run I eyer witnessed, when the gallant Dick 
Burton hunted the hounds, was the following : — The squire, 
Mrs. A. Smith, and Lord G. Bentinck, had ridden to 
Stockbridge to see his Lordship's stud, then in training at 
Day's. "We met at Collingbourne Wood, found by the 
keeper^s house, went away at once by l^ddesden Farm, 
over Luggershall Commcw, leaving Predenham to the left, 
to and by Shoddesden, across the large fields to Thruxton 
Copse. Here, for the first time, was a check in a piece 
oi turnips^ out ci which our fox jumped up in yiew, and 
we ran him, as a fitrmer not unhappily said, moord hi 
kandf across to Quarley, skirting the paik there (where, 
by the bye^ poor Will Cowley, the whip, and a &mous one 
he was^ got a roll over the rails), and up to and through 
Quariey Wood, out again in view up to the Boman 
Camp, then across the flat to Cholderton Clumps ; and, 
going down that steep pitch, the honndis positively seemed 
to fi<Mgh him up as they rolled him over, such a head did 
they cany, and such a rush did they make. Nothing 
could be more perfect than thk fine run,^ both in result 
and adjuncts. Every hound up, but not every horseman. 

Exceptor quod dob Bimvl esMot^ caBtem IstL — ^HOB. 

"During the hunting season, Andover was filled with 
sportsmen^ all of whom were welcomed to Tedworth hospi- 
tality after an wiirodiuction. This was always insisted on 
in consequence of the following misadventure : — 

" A certain lord, of consLdacable notoriety, who th^d re- 
sided at Penton, was invited, and begged permission to bring 
as a friend a ^Captain MomJtagui which, of course, was 
acceded ta 

'^ It so happened, that the late Lord George Sentinels was 
staying at Tedworth, and it was observed, that when Lord 


H introduced bis friend, the latter rather kept in the 

background when Lord G. Bentinck appeared. Soon after 
dinner was announced, and the Captain sat opposite to 
Lord G. Bentinck. During a pause in the second course, 
the eyes and attention of all were riveted, by his Lordship 
saying, in his slow, full, soft voice, ' Allow me the pleasure 
of taking a glass of wine with you, Oaptmn MonictguJ* — 
(Great stress on the last words). A low bow from the 
Captain in reply, and nothing more then passed. As soon, 
however, as the guests were departed. Lord George Ben- 
tinck said, ' Perhaps, Smith, you may not be aware of the 
honour, but you have to-day entertained one of the greatest 
blackgards, and the biggest scamp and black-leg that even 
the ' Eing' can produce.' 

^'Measures were being devised next morning, when an 
ample apology arrived from the Penton Lord, who had been 
also imposed on, and had just turned the Captam * out 
of doors, and thus this af^ ended. One of the most con- 
stant attendants in the field, and an always welcome guest 
at Tedworth, for many years, was the worthy General 
Shubrick, whose fine stud of horses, and princely entertain- 
ments to all his Mends and neighbours, will not soon be 
forgotten at the Star Hotel, Andover. * Who is your best 
customer 1 ' inquired I of the ostler. ' Oh, sir,' was the 
reply, * the General is loorth the whole lot put together. He 
ia an £7nperor* We had also another worthy military 
Mend, rather inclined to corpulency, and not a teetotaller, 
who rejoiced in the name of Bacchus. Two farmers were 
one day disputing about his weight, and not agreeing, 
referred the point to one Osmond, a sporting butcher. 
The knight of the deaver, running his eye over him, and 
remarking how good he was about the bUirig (boiling) poiifUe 
and brisket, inquired with a knowing leer, ' Do you sink 

* His real name was Canty ; he was afterwards transported. 


** Although the country around Tedworth was mostly so 
open, that an old woman on a broom might ride across it, 
still there were times and parts of it that showed off good 
riding, particularly in the Pewsey vale. On such occasions 
as these, when fine horsemanship was required, there was no 
man who rode better and straighter than Mr. John Rowden, 
of Derrington, a wealthy yeoman, with a baud as light as a 
lady's, a heart as bold as a lion, and a frame fit to contend 
for the championship. 

^' He was invariably selected by Mr. Smith to purchase his 
horses, generally at that time bought of Mr. Smart, of 
Swindon ; or in case any horse was heard of at a distance^ 
Mr. Eowden was requested to pass his judgment on it, and 
many hundred miles has he ridden for that purpose. Nor 
did his labours end here ; for if ever there happened, as was 
often the case, to be a violent fractiovA animal that required 
Immd and temper, he was also requested to be the private 
tutor ; and so highly did Mr. Smith think of his ridmg and 
judgment, that I have often heard him say, he would rather 
trust a young horse to Eowden than any man he knew. I 
shall never forget his coming down a steep plantation on a 
violent bay horse who had broken away with him, crying, 
' Take corare, ge-mUlemen^ take corore, I dcyrCt know whe-^re 
Fm coming ' (he had a little hitch in his speech, like Dick 
Burton), as his horse bounded through and over the young 
trees. ' No,' said a farmer, ' I don't much think you do, 
for it appears to me you be out a hvrdla nesting.^ On 
another occasion, when his horse reared up bolt on end, 
and there stood, he coolly remarked, '7 suppose he wUl 
come down again once Uhday' He was our Dick Ch/ristia/n'^ 

A member of the Tedworth Hunt, describing a meet 
after Mr. Smith's death, says : " The finest run I ever wit- 
nessed last season (1858-1859) was from CoUingbourne 
Woods on the last day of March. * The wind in the east for- 
biddingly keen,' and the sun scalding hot, promised anything 
but such an event. Jack Fricker, the first whip, who has 


as many eyes as Argus, viewed * him ' stealing away, but 
inclined to hug the woods. A crack of his whip, and one 
blast with the horn, however, made him turn his head 
straight away from his old haunts, and when once down wind, 
he never turned it again. We first ran between Ludgershall 
and Medenham to Shoddesden Gate, through the little 
covert there, and then for New Down Copse, leaving this to 
the right, and Kempton Lodge close to the left, through 
the fields to Thruxton Farm. Up the opposite hill we 
viewed him pointing for Lord Winchester's new lodge. 
And here, by way of episode, a kid grazing on the slope 
was so captivated with the appearance of a reverend gentle- 
man, mistaking him either for father or mother {suh judice 
lis est\ that it fairly pursued him for two miles, notwith- 
standing the mild rebukes uttered by the said Divine, which 
formed a pleasing duet with the bleating of the kid. The 
hounds, in the meantime, carried a tremendous head into 
and through the New Gorse at Newport, across the Park, 
straight through Sarson Wood, and over the railway ; 
thence through the broad hedge-rows to the cross road. 

" Here was the first stop ; but we were soon righted, and 
away for Abbots Anne great woods. Disdaining to enter 
these, and likewise declining to hide his head in any of the 
Kedrice coverts, our gallant fox pointed straight for thef 
smaller oak cuts. A sheep dog in some high turnips (who 
apparently had given him a rally) caused some slight con- 
fusion ; but George Carter making up his mind that ours 
was a travelled fox, returning home from a midnight irolic, 
held his hounds on, and hit the scent beautifully going into 
the oak cuts. Out of these Jack Fricker caught a view of 
him making for Danebury Hill, where was an earth open 
big enough to hold the worthy proprietor of the soil. 
Another crack with the whip made him decline the Hill for 
Mr. Day's racing paddocks, and in the fir belt around these, 
this glorious run terminated : time, one hour and forty-five 
minutes; distance, from find to finish at least fourteen 


miles. Every hound was up, and George Carter, with the 
fox raised high over his head with hoth hands, fairlj 
pirouetted as if he was setting his partner in a qnadrille. 

*^ * I will have that fox's head, and I will keep it as a 
trophy of this day/ said a distinguished foreign Baron, 
' and I will drink to his memory and to all your healths ; ' 
and without doubt he kept his word." 

When Mn Smith's horses had grown old, or were no 
longer equal to their work, they were permitted to roam at 
large in the park, for he never sold an animal when worn 
oat, to be subjected, as he said, to the chance of ill-treat- 

After his death, no hunter was sold out of his stables ; 
all were given away by his widow among his intimate 
friends. Paul Potter, Ham Ashley, Euxine, and Blemish 
thus passed into the possession of those who would value 
them for their master's sake, and never part with them. 
His noble pack of hounds was j»'esented by her to the 
county of Hants, but still continues fo^ the present to in- 
habit its old quarters. A committee has berat fcnnned, 
comprised of the leading land-owners of Hants and Wilts, 
and with the assistance of liberal subscriptions, the list 
of which contains the names of the largest game-pre- 
servers of the district — and under the able management of 
Mr. Northeast, whose services are entirely gratuitous^ in 
the commissariat department, the sport is destined to be 
kept alive, and long may it be kept alive, with George 
Carter as huntsman, assisted by Jack Fricker and Will 
Bryce, to do honour to the memory of the most renowned 
fox-hunter of his day. 

Did Mr. Smith then live alone for his £Ekvourite pastime I 
Let the reader answer that question who has accompanied 
me throughout these pages, describing his gallant and 
honourable career. Is it not rather to him, — ^whoee keen- 
ness and unswerving resolution, the vwida vis or ardour of 
whose mind, so essential to success in enterprises whether 


great or small, whose singleness of purpose this memoir has 
endeavoured fiuthfhlly to delineate, — ^is it not to him, I repeat, 
that we owe in a great measore the high tone and character 
of the chase^ and that fox-hunting has continued, in spite of 
our refinement and civilization, that powerfcil element in 
our social system, which it was described to be at the out- 
set, and which serves, together with other ingredients, to 
make the En^ishman respected thronghout the world, £ar 
his courage, his perseverance, and the independent freedom 
of thought and action inseparable from hb nature 1 There 
is one circumstance, moreover, which most not be lost sight 
of. The intemperance * which formerly was aaEK>ciated so 
frequently with this amusement, and gave a handle to its 
opponents to detract £rom its merits;, no longer exist& It is 
as disgraceful at the present day for a man to be a drunkard 
as to be a coward; while, if proof were needed that a free in- 
dulgence in wine and stimulants is not necessary, either 
fi>r a man's reputation among his fdlows, or for his nervous 
energy and strength, no stnmger one could be required than 
the example before us» While Mr. Smith's habits were 
temperate, almost amounting to abstemiousness, guieqtiid 
mdt vcUdi vuU was his motto in eveiy busineas he under-, 

Whether it was the chase, <ff the improvement of ship- 
building, or the development of his quarriesy or the ame- 
lioration of the comforts and condition of his Welsh 
labourers, whatsoever his hand found to do, he did it with 
his mights As has well been observed by the Editor of 

* Even in Beckford'a time, as he observes, the intempenmce, dowo- 
ishness, and ignorance of the aid fooc-hnnters were quite worn ont, and 
fox-hunting had beoome the amvaenMat of geHtiemen. That writer^a 
"Thonghts on Hunting " were written in 1779, in a series of familiar 
letters, but the work was not published until several years afterwards. 
One of the best works on the ''Noble Science" is that written by 
Mr. Robert Vyner, once a very forward rider with the Warwickshire 
hounds, who learnt his first lessons in sporting when a boy at Bngby 


The Field, it is only by such enthusiasm in the pursuit of 
fox-hunting as he evinced, '' that with the improved state 
of husbandry, and the increasing system of enclosures^ 
added to the large field of thorough-bred horses pressing 
upon the hounds, it is kept from degenerating into a 
second-rate sport/' His country, therefore, is the real 
gainer by the line that he pursued, " for if," adds the same 
writer, " hunting or any other diversion is really useful in a 
national point of view, ib is of the utmost importance that 
it should be vigorously carried out, and that a few of the 
leaders in it should devote their time, their minds, and 
their fortunes to render it something more than a mere 
gentlemanly amusement, although to the great bulk of man- 
kind it presents no other feature whereby it may claim 
their attention." 

There will perhaps be some who still remain sceptical. 
These we refer to Lord Bacon's essay on the *^ True Great- 
ness of Kingdoms and States," already quoted, from which 
we extract the following passage : '^ It is certain that 
sedentary and within-door arts, and delicate manufactures " 
(in which as a nation we are chiefly engaged) "requiring 
the finger rather than the arm," (and it may be added, 
laborious studies and professions,) '^ have in their nature a 
contrariety to a military disposition ; and generally war- 
like people are a little idle and love danger better than 
travail j neither must they be too much broken of it, if 
they shall be preserved in vigour." 

If, therefore, hunting, with its perils, its enterprises, and 
its ambition, has been truly styled ** the image of war," — if 
it has a direct tendency to remedy the natural eflect of 
some of our national habits and employments, — long may 
the noble youths of our country cherish a passion for this and 
other manly exercises ! Thus will our bodies be best in- 
ured to toil, and their nerves best braced to encounter 
dangers, wherever they may be found. Thus will they be 
less liable to turn aside to the allurement of vicious indul- 


gence, while we shall look up to them with firm reliance as 
our defenders against foreign aggression. Ill will it fare with 
Great Britain when her children shall peruse such a life as 
that of Mr. Assheton Smith, except to see in it a model for 
their example. Should such a day arrive, our best national 
defences would serve us little against an invader, and our 
empire would soon cease to maintain that proud pre- 
eminence it has so long held among mankind. But, if I 
know my countrymen rightly, that day need not be appre- 
hended. Bather will this narrative of some passages in 
the life of a true Englishman touch a chord in every heart, 
and find its home in every clime where British resolution 
to overcome obstacles, where British courage and emulation 
find congenial spirits. If the prevailing defect x>f our age 
be indifference of purpose,* not only in our politics, but in 
our moral and social sympathies, ay in our very sports, no 
more powerful spur can be found to rouse our slumbering 
energies, and to revive within us a generous warmth of 
sentiment and action, than the contemplation of the almost 
certain success attending every pursuit and undertaking 
which enthusiasm pervades ; while the honour we ungrudg- 
ingly hasten to pay to a great and shining quality, even 
though we may be wanting in it ourselves, must serve to 
elevate the standard of conduct, and to promote a hopeful 
spirit of emulation. 

Ilium nulla dies unquam memori eximet aevo : 
Bum domus ^nese Capitoli immobile saxum 
Accolet, imperiumque pater Komanus habebit. 

Soon after the death of her husband, Mrs. Assheton 
Smith retired to Tedworth, where she remained in strict 
privacy, until the state of her health, which, at all times 
delicate, had undergone a considerable shock from the 

* When this was written, the Bifle movement had not attained its 
present formidable dimensions. 


anxiety and fetigue consequent upon his long illness, 
obliged her to spend the winter of 1858 at Torquay. At 
first the society of her sisters,* the change of scene, and the 
mildness of the climate in that beautifiil spot, appeared to 
give her relief : bat her spirits never ndiied after the closing 
scene at Yaenol, and happening to take fresh cold in the 
following March, she grew rapidly worse. 

Feeling a strong desire to return to Tedworth, she was 
moved with difficulty from Torquay, but got no further on 
her journey than Compton Basset, near Devizes, the resi- 
dence of her brother-in-law, George Heneage, Esq., where she 
expired on the 18th of May, 1859. Having had entrusted 
to her by Mr. Smith the sole disposition of his princely 
fortune, it became a matter of great interest and curiosity 
to know to whom she would bequeath it. The event 
proved that she waa animated by the same strong sense of 
justice which had been so predominant a feature in the 
character of her husband. By her will she left the whole 
of his Welsh property, comprising in all 47,000 acres, exclu- 
sive of much mountain land, and exceeding in value £40,000 
a year,t to one of his nearest relations, whom she had never 
seen, the son of Captain and Mrs. Duff, and grandson of 
Mrs. Astley, Mr. Smith's sister. Having thus done her 
duty to the family of her husband, she bequeathed the 
Tedworth estate to her favourite nephew and godson, 
Francis Stanley, the son of one of her sisters. To the 
other members of her own fiGunily she left personalty and 
legacies varying in amount, not forgetting some of Mr. 
Smith's and her own oldest friends. Many of the old 
family servants and retainers were left handsomely pro- 
vided for. The Will, made, as it must have been, in the 

* Mrs. Heneage, Mrs. Sloane Stanley, and Mrs. Ker Seymer. 

t Mr. Smith stated to a fnend, two years before his death, that the 
Llanberris Slate Quarries cleared on an average, after payment of all 
expenses, j£30,000 per annum. The landed property produces £15,000 
per annum. 


hour of acute suffering and sorrow, strongly exemplifies 
those Christian principles which had been the rule of her 
conduct through life. A conscientious desire to discharge 
her duty, great warmth of kindness to those whom she 
loved, deep devotion and respect for her husband's memory, 
who had shown her so signal a mark of his confidence and 
affection, added to an anxiety to carry out what she con- 
sidered would have been his wishes, all these influences 
enabled her to perform an act of great difficulty in such a 
manner, that its justness must be universally acknowledged 
and admired. 

Mrs. Assheton Smith was buried by the side of her 
husband, in the church-yard at Ted worth, on the 26th 
of May, 1859, little more than eight months after his 


No. I. 


{Referred to at pages 7, 17, and 129.) 

It will be interesting to the lovers of cricket to be famished with some 
particulars of the celebrated matches in which Mr. Assheton Smith 
took a distinguished part. We have not been able to find any espe- 
cial record of his prowess at Eton or Oxford ; but in 1802 we find him 
playing on the side of Surrey against All England, in a match which 
came off at Lord's cricket-ground, on the 25th of August in that year. 
The respective sides contained the names of the most eminent players 
of the day. Lord Frederick Beauclerk heading the eleven of the 
England side, placed 54 runs upon the score — in fact, more than half 
the innings of his side ; while in the second innings, Fremantle, 
Hammond, Bennett, and Fennex, made between them 1 5^ runs, the 
whole inniogs amounting to 211, which Surrey was unable to fetch up. 
England therefore proved the winner by 83 runs. Mr. Smith scored 1 
in his first innings, and 10 in his second. From this period until 1820, 
we find his name figure with distinction in all the prominent matches 
of the day : he was no less active and skilful in fielding than when 
he held his bat. 

In the year 1803 he played with Hants against Nottingham and 
Leicester. The game took place at Lord's on the 4th, 5th, and 6th 
July, Hants coming off with flying colours, and winning in one innings 
by 20 runs. 

On the 8th of June, 1804, we find Mr. Assheton Smith engaged in a 
game played at Lord's, between 11 of Marylebone and 10 of the * 
Homerton Club with Beldharo. The Marylebone Club won by 24 runs. 
Mr. Smith scored 5 and 58 in his two innings. On the 27th June 
following, the Marylebone and Homerton Clubs played Hants. The 
former were victorious by 24 runs. Mr. Smith scored 13 and 9. In 
this game Lord F. Beauclerk played on the Marylebone side, and got 
50 and 42 runs. On the 2nd of July in that year, the Marylebone 
Club played All England. After much excellent play, Mr. Smith 



■coring 59 and 4, and Lord F. Beauderk 15 and 9i, both on the Maiy- 
lebone side : the match was given np by their opponents. 

In this game first ooonrs the name of Mr. Bndd, who played on the 
losing side, and who was afterwards one of the cleanest hitters and 
finest batsmen of his day. 

On the 9th Jnly, 1804, we find Mr. Smith playing on the side of 
All England against Surrey. England won in one innings by i runs, 
Mr. Smith's bat obtaining 10. In the following year, Surrey again met 
England at Lord's on the 24th of June, when England won by 10 
wickets ; Mr. Smith obtained 12 and 8 runs, and was not out in the 
second innings. He took part in no other important game during that 
year ; but in 1806 he distinguished himself in a great match played at 
Lord's on the 16th of June, between 9 of Hants, with Lord F. Beau- 
clerk and Lambert, versus All England. Here he scored 17 and 30 
runs, Lord F. Beauclerk making 40 and 1 : England won by 87 runs. 

In those days there were very few byes ; the days of swift and 
round bowling not having then commenced. 

On the 80th of June, 1806, Mr. Smith played in a match at Lord's, 
between Surrey and England, and obtained as many as 86 runs in his 
first innings, and 7 in his second ; Lord F. Beauclerk scoring also 
40 and 31. England won by 93 runs. The 7th of July following was 
remarkable as being the first occasion on which the gentlemen of 
England contended against the players ; but this they did not anticipate 
they could accomplish without the assistance of Lambert and Beldham, 
two of the most celebrated players of the day. Nevertheless, they were 
victorious in one innings by 14 runs ; -Mr. Smith's score showing 48, 
when he was run out. The details of this game will be interesting to 
all lovers of cricket. 



T.Walker 14 c. Upton 24 c. Upton. 

J.Hampton 18 at. Lambert 4 c. Ditto. 

Robinson 13 c. Bifgh 15 b. Beauderk. 

Bennett 1 c. Beldham 13 c. Upton. 

Hammond c. Lambert 8 c. Beldham. 

Howard 2 c. T.Smith 13 c. Upton. 

Small c. Beldham 21 not out. 

Aylhig 1 b. Wills 8 c. Bligh. 

Fremantle 14 notout l st. Lambert. 

Fennex 6 b. Beldham c. Upton. 

H. Bentlej c. Bligh 8 leg before wicket. 

Byes. I Byes 3 




Hon. Gen. BUgh 22 c. Hammond. 

PoDtifex,Esq 14 b. Howard. 

Lambert 57 st. Hammond. 

T.Smith,Eaq 48 ran out. 

Beldham 16 c. Howard. 

Lord F. Beaaclerk 1 c. Bennett 

Wills, Esq. 1 c. Hampton. 

O. Leycester, Esq 14 c. Walker. 

Hon.A.Upton 11 ranoat. 

Nyren, Esq 4 c. Aylingr. 

Warren, Esq 2 notout. 

Byes 5 


The great, suocess attending this effort on the part of the gentlemen, 
induced them to make another trial of their strength with the players. 
On the 2l8t of July, in the same year, when assisted only by Lambert, 
they entered the lists again at Lord's, and were victorious by 82 runs. 
The gentlemen went in first. Lord F. Beauclerk made a splexidid 
score in each innings : viz. 58 and 38 respectively. 

In the following month, viz. on the 5th of August, we find 
Mr. Smith taking part in a game in which his own county, Hants, 
with Beldham and Lambert, contended against All England, and won 
by 10 wickets. In this match, which came off on Stoke Down, not far 
from the squire's own residence at Tedworth, his great rival. Lord 
F. Beauclerk, played against him. 

In 1807 the batting of Mr. Assheton Smith was no less distin- 
guished than in the preceding years. On the 25 th of May, 9 of Hants, 
with Lambert and J. Hampton, played All England at Lord's ; but 
on this occasion the latter was victorious by 47 runs. Mr. Smith 
scored no notches in his first innings, but made 24 in his second. 
Beldham, on the side of England, ran up to 79 in his first innings, and 
was not out, but was caught by Lambert in his second, without 
adding a single run to the score. Lord F. Beauclerk did not play in 
this game. On the 2nd of June following, in a match played at 
Lord's, between the Marylebone Club, with Lambert, Beldham, and 
Hammond, against All England, Mr. Smith played on the Marylebone 
side, and scored 6, and 26, and not out ; Marylebone won by 9 wickets. 
Lord F. Beauclerk obtained 53 runs for* Marylebone in his first 
innings, and did not go in a second time. On the 6th of the same 
month eight of the Marylebone Club, with Beldham, Bobinson, and 
T. Walker, contended at Lord's with eight of the Homerton Club, 



with Lambert, Hammond, and Small. Yiotoiy declared itself in 
favour of Marylebone by 156 ram. Mr. Smith made his greatest 
innings in this game, viz., 58, and not ont in his first innings, and 20 in 
his [second. Mr. Smith was again victorious shortly afterwards in a 
match between the Maxylebone and Homerton Clubs, played at Lord's 
on the 25th of June. This game, in which Mr. Smith emiuendy dis- 
tinguished himself as a bowler, is remarkable for the long scores 
obtained by the Marylebone players ; and also as being one of the first 
appearances of the late Benjamin Aislabie, Esq., one of the most 
stanch supporters and most liberal patrons of cricket. Even in our 
own time no great game was complete without the presence of this 
highly respected secretary of the Marylebone Club. On the occasion 
we refer to, he played on the Homerton side, and obtained 22 runs, 
and was not out in his second innings. The Marylebone Club, how- 
ever, came off the winner by 354 runs. 

Mr. Smith was now thirty-two years of age, — in the prime of 
manly vigour and activity, — and it is evident from the above details, 
that almost invariably the winning side in these great matches was 
that in which he had played. Three matches were played in the course 
of this year (1808) at Lord's between Surrey and England, in which 
he also took part. Surrey, however, was the victor on all three 
occasions, although the fine play of Lord F. Beauclerk on the 
side of England was very conspicuous. He scored 52 and 7 in 
the first match, 24 and 16 in the second, and 24 and 57 in the 
third. Mr. Budd also showed some fine play on the same side, 
making 30 in the first match, and 14 and 45 in the second. The 
part of Surrey was, however, too powerfully supported by Beldh&m, 
Robinson, Lambert, and Tanner. They severally obtained 62, 68, 86, 
36, and 30, in one or other of these matches ; while to Mr. Smith's 
bat we find set down in the second match the respectable figures of 
10 and 25 ; and in the third, of 11 and 19. 

Mr. Smith does not appear to have taken part in many of the matches 
played in 1809, but we find his name in a game played at Lord's on the 
13tb of June, between 8 of the Marylebone Club, with Lambert^ 
Beldham, and H. Bentley, and All England. Mr. Smith played on 
the Marylebone side, and scored 5 and 28 ; England won by 3 wickets. 
In this game the name of the celebrated George Osbaldeston first 
appears, so long afterwards renowned in sporting circles, not only as 
a cricketer, but as a fox-hunter, steeplechase rider, crack shot, and 
pedestrian. He was indeed the first gentleman in England who rode 
a steeple-chase. In alniost every athletic sport requiring muscular 
strength, pluck, and power of endurance, he, however, found a com- 
petitor worthy of his prowess in Tom Smith. In the game above 


mentioned betfween Marylebone and England, Lord F. Beauderk 
greatly distinguiahed himself on the side of the former, scoring 32 and 
114, and on each occasion being caught by Hammond. 

In 1810 Mr. Smith may be said to have attained his highest repu- 
tation as a cricketer, and once more broaght victory to the side of 
England in a match with Surrey, which was played at Lord's 
on the 18th of June, when after some splendid play on both sides, 
England was declared the winner by 6 wickets. Mr. Smith obtained 
the largest score to be found on both sides, viz. 47, although 
Lambert, Beldham, and Bobinson were enlisted on the side of Surrey. 
A fortnight afterwards the gentlemen and players under 38 years of 
age contended at Lord% against those above that age, when the 
former won the game with ease by 10 wickets. Mr. Smith con- 
tributed 37 runs to the first innings, and was put in first with Lord 
F. Beauclerk in the second to win the game. They were both not out. 
Lambert scored 69 on Mr. Smith's side. In this, as in the preceding 
game, his opponents had won the toss and gone in first, when they did 
not leave the wickets before they had marked 156. 

On the 24th of July following, the players ctbove 88 years of age took 
Mr. Smith into their ranks, when he caused the tide of fortune to turn 
with him. No greater proof could be given of his skill in the game, 
as well as of the repute in which he was held by his brother-players. 
The game was interrupted by the unfavourable state of the weather, 
but was finally played out on the 17th of August, when what were 
termed the "old 'uns" won by 90 runs. 

In 1812 Mr. Smith played in one or two unimportant matches; 
but his attention was now, even during the non-hunting season, becom- 
ing much absorbed with his kennel and his stud. In 1813 his place 
on Lord's ground was worthily filled up by the greatest cricketer 
within the memory of the last half-century, the late W. Ward, Esq., 
whose name first appears in the record of a match played at Lord's on 
the 7th of June, 1813, between two select Elevens of England, the 
Hon. General Bligh and Lord F. Beauclerk being their respective 
Captains. Mr. Vigne also was at that period coming into play. Lord 
F. Beauclerk remained on the cricket-field long after Mr. Smith had 
quitted it, and continued to maintain his reputation till 1825, in which 
year his name is to be found in several matches. He did not, 
however, play with the gentlemen in that year, when 15 met the 
players of England at Lord's, on the 4th of July, and were winners by 
72 runs. It was on this occasion Mr. Ward obtained his celebrated 
innings of 102, and then left the wicket in consequence of being hurt. 
The play of the present Mr. Henry Kingscote was remarkably fine 
in this game. He scored 22 and 88. On the part of the players the 


hitting of Sa^mderSy Broadbridga, and T. Beagley, waa deservedly 
admired. Saanden scored 99 in his first innings, and was run.ont ; 
T. Beagley scored 54, and not out ; and Broadbridge marked 52, and 
not ont in his second innings. The first innings of the players reached 
the large number of 248, while that of the gentlemen only marked 148, 
but they made up 272 in their second inning's. The year 1825 is also 
memorable in the annals of cricket, as being the first that saw the 
matches between the Public Schools at Lord's. The Winchester 
Eleven on this occasion beat Harrow by 140 runs, while the Etonians 
also won in their match with Harrow by 7 wickets. These matches 
have been regularly continued until the present time, with the excep- 
tion of one or two years, when they were stopped by the head-masters, 
in consequence of complaints made by some of the parents of the boys, 
on account of the expenses and temptation their sons incurred by 
remaining in London. A general expression of public feeling, how- 
ever, in favour of the restoration of these popular matches, which 
always attracted a very large concourse of spectators and excited the 
warmest interest, caused the veto to be taken off, it being generally 
considered that the evil of one or two boys being dragged into the 
vortex of dissipation and expense was more than eounterbalanoed 
by the stimulus thus given to manly and athletic exercises. Conse- 
qoently, when Dr. Vaughan, the late head-master of Harrow, who was 
always most favourable to the continuance of the Public-School 
matches, entered Lord's Cricket Ground a few years ago to witness the 
prowess of his own scholars, his appearance was hailed with enthusiastic 
cheers by the crowd of spectators assembled to watch the game. 

In 1820 Mr. Smith once more entered the cricket lists, being then 
44 years of age, to play on the side of Hants against All England ; bat 
he appears then to have been out of practice, for he was bowled out in 
the first innings by Powell, without scoring a run, and in the second 
only obtained 2, when he was stumped by Shearman. England won 
on this occasion by 82 runs. In 1820 the three Pilches first played 
in a match at Lord's on the 24th of July, between the Maiylebone 
Club and the county of Norfolk, with Messrs. E. H. Budd, F. Lad- 
broke, and T. Vigne. N. Pilch succeeded in scoring 52 runs in his 
second innings. The other two bowled with success on the Norfolk 
side. Mr. Ward made the great score of 278 for Marylebone in his 
first innings, and Lord F. Beauclerk 82 and not out. The whole 
innings reached 478, and the game resulted in Marylebone winning 
by 417 runs. The four innings of both sides amounted to 745. The 
batting of Fuller Pilch (who subsequently resided at West Mailing, in 
Kent) afterwards attained the highest excellence, while his fielding 
was most admirable. Twenty years afterwards, viz. in 1840, he was 


the finest and most powerfal hitter in England, while the extraordi- 
nary reach with which he covered the field at point or middle wicket, 
and the wonderful manner in which he picked up the ball, never 
fuled to elicit the warmest plaudits from the spectators. Soothing 
could have been more splendid than the attitude of Fuller Pilch, 
when, taking his place at the wicket, he opened his broad chest and 
threw back his well-knit shoulders to receive the ball from the bowler, 
and if it came to the off-side, cut it, without apparent effort, but 
with tremendous force, along the ground into the distant part of the 
field. The writer of this memoir gladly pays the tribute of admira- 
tion, not only to his skill, but to his manly yet always respectful 
deportment, and to the invincible pluck which he always evinced 
whilst contending against a stronger side than his own. 

For the above details of Mr. Assheton Smith's prominent feats in 
the cricket field, we are indebted to the ** Begister of Cricket Matches, 
from 1786 to 1828," drawn up by Henry Bentley, and published in 
the last-named year. The book is now very scarce, and the oopy 
from which our extracts are taken is in the possession of Frederick 

No. 11. 


{JUf erred to at page 9.) 

The candidates for the representation of Nottingham in Parliament, 
at the general election in 1818, were the late members. Lord Ban- 
cliffe, Joseph Birch, Esq. (both ultra Whigs), and Assheton Smith 
(Tory). The contest was one of the severest on record, Lord Ban- 
diffe defeating Smith by only 12 ^otes, the latter having polled 1,840. 
Mr. Smith came forward upon public grounds, from the laost disinterested 
motives, without any view either to public emolument or private con- 
siderations, and notwithstanding the immense influence opposed to him, 
and Lord Bancliffe's personal and local advantages, it was a neck-and- 
neck afi&ir to the last stride, lotting eleven dayi, Assheton Smith again 
stood for Nottingham at the general election in 1820, the candidates 
being Mr, Birch, Mr. (afterwards Lord) Denman, Assheton Smith, 
and Lancelot BoUeston, Esq. [This last also an excellent sportsman 
and true English gentleman, was master of the South Nottingham 
hounds for two seasons, and represented South Nottingham in three 
Parliaments. He was also Colonel of the Nottingham Militia.] 

After another unpreoedentedly keen struggle of twelve dayt, the two 


Whig candicbites were retarned, bj a small majority, through the 
corrupt inflaence of the Corporation, which is on parliamentary record. 
Lord Althorp, in asking leave to bring in his celebrated Reform Bill, 
referred in express terms to the corraption of the Nottingham Cor* 
poration in creating mushroom voters for election purposes. 

Fox's famous Westminster contest was scarcely more fertile in stirring 
and piquant scenes than Assheton Smith's two arduous contests at 

In a political squib, published at Nottingham in 1819, entitled 
"The Entertaining Performances of the Election Jugglers," Mr. 
Smith fills the character of the Pilgrim Assheton Smithomas, Esq. 
(an unsuccessful candidate), who, in a farcical burletta, called "The 
Scrutiny," acts the part of a centaur, said to be imported from the 
fens of Lincolnshire. " This extraordinary creature," says the author 
of the drama, ** is half a man and half a horse, and was begotten by 
the Nottingham Pitt Club, on the body of the Good Old Cause." 

While the sheets of this new edition were passing through the press, 
Lancelot Bolleston, Esq., Mr. Smith's associated candidate at the Not- 
tingham election in 1820, was removed by the hand of death. The 
Nottinghamshire Guardian pays this brief and merited tribute to his 
memory : — " Colonel Bolleston was ardently devoted to fox-hunting, 
which he continued to an advanced period of his life — as long, indeed, 
as the countxy was hunted. Contemporary, though some eight years the 
junior of Assheton Smith and Musters, he was the intimate friend of 
both those renowned sportsmen, and vras himself one of the men of 
his day across a country. There was not a more graceful horseman, 
or a more unjealous rider in any hunt." 

Another contemporary of Mr. Smith's, from whose sporting recol- 
lections the author of this memoir has freely quoted — Dick Christian, 
— ^has also passed away so recently as the beginning of the present 
month, June 1862, at the advanced age of eighty-three. 

NoTB TO AmeoDOTB AT Pages 9-10. 

Thebe are different versions of the set-to between Mr. Smith and 
the coal-heaver, narrated in the first chapter of this memoir. Some 
say it occurred at Leicester, others at Stamford ; but the best infonned 
affirm that it took place opposite Middleton's bank, at Loughborough, 
which is much nearer Quom than Leicester. A writer in TheFidd, more- 
over, has impeached the vendty of our relation of the anecdote ; his 


yersion of it being that Mr. Smith took refuge in the bank, and sent 
ont a soTereign to the coal-heaver in order to avoid further puniaho 
ment. Not only would such conduct have been totally at variance 
with the character of Mr. Smith, but the improbability of the story is 
further evident from the £ftct, that the combat took place before 
sovereigns were in existence in the shape of coin. 

No. IIL 


{Referred to in note, page 20.) ' 

The run celebrated in the following verses took place on the 24th of 
February, 1800, when Mr. Meynell hunted Leicestershire, and has 
since been known as the Billesden Coplow Kun. It will only cease to 
interest, says a writer in the Sporting Magazinef when the grass shall 
grow in winter in the streets of Melton Mowbray. They found in the 
covert from which the song takes its name, thence to Skeffington 
Earths, past Tilton Woods, by Tugby and Whetstone, where the field, 
as many as could get over, crossed the river Soar. Thence the hounds 
changing their fox, carried a head to Enderby Gorse, where they lost 
him, after a chase of two hours and fifteen minutes, the distance being 
twenty-eight miles, A picture descriptive of t'his famous run was 
painted by Loraine Smith, Esq., who was one of the few who got over 
the river ; it was until very lately in the possession of Eobt. Haymes, 
Esq., of Great Glenn, Leicestershire. In this painting, which shows 
the field in the act of crossing the Soar, we see Mr. Germaine, who has 
jnst crossed it, and he was the only one out that day who did so on horse- 
back. Mr. Musters is in the middle of the stream, and on the point 
of throwing himself off his horse, which is too much distressed to carry 
him over. The other horsemen in the picture are Jack Baven the 
huntsman. Lord Maynard, and his servant, who are all three coming 
up towards the stream. Mr. Loraine Smith, '' the Enderby squire," 
who of course well knows the locality, is crossing a ford on foot, and 
leading his horse higher up the stream. The hounds are seen ascend- 
ing the hill on the opposite side, in full cry, leaving Enderby village 
and church to the left. The song was written by the Bev. Bobert 
Lowth, son of the eminent bishop of London of that name. The 
reverend divine was one of the field, being on a visit at Melton at 
that time, and wrote the song at the request of the Honourable 
George Germaine; brother of liord Sackville, afterwards duke of 


Bonet, in consequence of lome incorrect accounts of the run which 
had been published. 



By the Rev. Robert Lowth, 

Quseque Ipse miserrima vidi, 
£t quorum pan magna fui. 

With the wind at north-east, forbiddingly keen. 

The Coplow of Billesden ne'er witness'd, I ween. 

Two hundred such horses and men at a burst, 

All determined to ride — each resolved to be first. 

But to get a good start over-eager and jealous, 

Two-thirds, at the least, of these very fine fellows 

So crowded, and husUed, and jostled, and crossed, 

That they rode the wrong way, and at starting were lost. 

In spite of th' unpromising state of the weather. 

Away broke the fox, and the hounds close together ; 

A burst up to Tilton so brilliantly ran. 

Was scarce ever seen in the mem'ry of man. 

What hounds guided scent, or which led the way. 

Tour bard — to their names quite a stranger — can't say ; 

Though their names had he known, he's free to confess, 

His horse could not show him at such a death-pace. 

Villiers, Cholmondeley, and Forester made such sharp play, 

Kot omitting Germaine, ^ever seen till to-day : 

Had you judged of these four by the trim of their pace. 

At Bibury you'd thought they'd been riding a race. 

But these hounds with a scent, how they dash and they filng. 

To o'er-ride them is quite the impossible thing ; 

Disdaining to hang in the wood, through he raced. 

And the open for Skeffington gallantly faced ; 

Where headed and foil'd, his first point he forsook. 

And merrily led them a dance o'er the brook. 

Pass'd Galby and Norton, Great Stretton and Small, 

Bight onward still sweeping to old Stretton Hall ; 

Where two minutes' check served to show at one ken 

The extent of the havoc 'mongst horses and men. 

Such sighing, such sobbiog, such trotting, such walking ; 

Such reeling, such halting, of fences such baulking ; 

Such a smoke in the gaps, such comparing of notes ; 

Such quizzing each other's daub'd breeches and coats : 

Here a man walk'd afoot who his horse had half kill'd, 

There you met with a steed who his rider had spill'd : 


Id short, such dilemmas, such scrapes, such distress, 

One fox ne'er occasioned, the knowing confess. 

But, alas 1 the dilemmas had scarcely began, 

On for Wigston and Ayleston he resolute ran. 

Where a few of the stoutest now slackened and panted, 

And many were seen irretrievably planted. 

The high road to Leicester the scoundrel then crosa'd, 

As Tell-tale* and Beaufremontf found to their cost ; 

And Yilliers esteem'd it a serious bore, 

That no longer could Shuttlecock t Ay as before ; 

Even Joe Miller's § spirit of fun was so broke, 

That he ceased to consider the run as a joke. 

Then streaming away, o'er the river he splash'd, — 

Germaine close at hand, off the bank Melon |i dash'd. 

Why so stout proved the Dun, in a scamper so wild ? 

Till now he had only been rode by a Child. ^ 

After him plunged Joe Miller ¥rith Musters so slim. 

Who twice sank, and nearly paid dear for his whim, 

Kot reflecting that all water Melons must swim. 

Well soused by their dip, on they brush'd o'er the bottom, 

With liquor on board, enough to besot 'em. 

But the villain no longer at all at a loss, 

Stretch'd away like a d 1 for Enderby Gorse : 

Where meeting with many a brother and cousin, 

^Who knew how to dance a good hay in the furzen ; 

Jack Baven** at length coming up on a hack. 

That a farmer had lent him, whipp'd off the game pack. 

Bunning sulky, old Loadstone ft the stream would not swim, 

No longer sport proving a magnet to him. 

Of mistakes and mishaps, -and what each man befell. 

Would the muse could with justice poetical tell I 

Bob Grosvenor on Plush t+ — though determined to ride — 

Lost at first a good start, and was soon set aside ; 

Though he charged hill and dale, not to lose this rare chase. 

On velvet. Plush could not get a footing, alas ! 

To Tilton sail'd bravely Sir Wheeler O'Ouff, 

Where neglecting, through hurry, to keep a good luff, 

To leeward he drifts — ^how provoking a case ! 

And was forced, though reluctant, to give up the chase. 

* Mr. Forester's horse. | Mr. Oermaine's horse. 

t Blr. Maddock's horse. f Formerly Mr. ChUd's. 

t Lord ViUiers' horse. ** The name of the himtsman. 

) Mr. Masters' horse. ft The huntsman's horse. 

Xt .Mr. Robert Grosvenor's horse. 


As making bis way to the pack *b not his forte. 
Sir Lawley,* as usual, lost half of the sport. 
Bat then the profess'd philosophical creed, 
That " all's for the besV'— of Master Gandide, 
If not comfort Sir B., reconcile may at least ; 
For, with thia supposition, hit sport is the best. 

Orby Hunter, who seem*d to be hunting his fiite, 
Grot fiJls, to the tune of not fewer than eight. 
Basan's king,t upon Glimpse,^: sadly out of condition, ^ 

PuU'd up, to avoid of being tired the suspicion. 
Og did right so to yield ; for he very soon found. 
His worst had he done, he'd have scarce glimpsed a hound. 
Charles Meynell, who lay very well with the hounds. 
Till of Stretton he nearly arrived at the bounds, 
Now discover'd that Waggoner § rather would creep. 
Than exert his great prowess in taking a leap ; 
But when crossing the turnpike, he read ^9* " Put on here," 
Twas enough to make any one bluster and swear. 
The Waggoner feeling familiar the road, 
Was resolved not to quit it ; so stock still he stood. 
Yet prithee, dear Charles ! why rash vows will you make. 
Thy leave of old Billesden || to finally take ! 
Since from Legg's Hill,1[ for instance, or perhaps Melton Spinney, 
If they go a good pace, you are beat for a guinea ! 
Tis money, they say, makes the mare to go kind ; 
The proverb has vouched for this time out of mind ; 
But though of this truth you admit the fidl force. 
It may not bold so good of every horse. 
If it did, Ellis Charles need not bustle and hug. 
By name, not by nature, his £Etvourite Slug.*** 
Yet Slug as he is — the whole of this chase 
Charles ne'er could have seen, had he gone a snaiFs pace. 
Old Gradus,tt whose fretting and fuming at first 
Disqualify strangely for such a tight burst. 
Ere to Tilton arrived, ceased to pull and to crave. 
And though ireahUh at Stretton, he stepp'd a pas gram / 

* Sir Robert Lawley, called Sir Lawley in the Melton dialect, 
t Mr. Oglander, familiarly called Og. t Mr. Oglander's horse. 

§ Mr. C. M^ynell's horse. 

I He had threatened never to follow the hounds a^ain from Billesden, on 
account of his weight. 
% A different part of the hunt. ** Mr. Charles Ellis's horse. 

ft Mr. George EUis's horse. 


Where, in turning him over a cramp kind of place. 
He oYertum'd George, whom he threw on his face ; 
And on foot to walk home it had sure been his fate. 
But that soon he was caught, and tied up to a gate. 

Near Wigston occurred a most singular joke, 
Captain Miller averr'd that his leg he had broke, — 
And bemoan'd, in most piteous expressions, how hard. 
By so cruel a fracture, to have his sport marr'd. 
In quizzing his friends he felt little remorse 
To finesse the complete doing up of his horse. 
Had he told a long story of losing a shoe. 
Or of laming his horse, he very well knew 
That the Leicestershire creed out this truism worms, 
** Lost shoes and dead beat are synonymous terms." 
So a horse must here learn, whatever he does. 
To die game — as at Tyburn — and '' die in his shoes." 
Bethel Cox, and Tom Smith, Messieurs Bennett and Hawke, 
Their nags all contrived to reduce to a walk. 
Maynard's Lord, who detests competition and strife, 
As well in the chase as in social life, 
Than whom nobody harder has rode in his time. 
But to crane here and there now thinks it no crime, 
That he beat some crack riders most &irly may crow. 
For he lived to the end, though he scarcely knows how. 

With snaffle and martingale held in the rear. 
His horse's mouth open half up to his ear ; 
Mr. Wardle, who threaten'd great things over nighty* 
Beyond Stretton was left in most terrible plight. 
Too lean to be press'd, yet egg'd on by compulsion, 
Ko wonder his nag tumbled into convulsion. 
Ah I had he but lost a fore shoe, or fell lame, 
'Twould only his sport have curtailed, not his fame. 
Loraine,+ — than whom no one his game plays more safe, 
Who the last to the first prefers seeing by half, — 
What with nicking :|: and keeping a constant look-out, 
Every turn of the scent surely turn'd to account. 
The wonderful pluck of his horse surprised some. 
But he knew they were making point blank for his home. 

* Said to have threatened that he would beat the whole Held. 

t Mr. Loraine Smith. x A term of reproach. 


" Short home " to be brought we all should de&ire, 
Gould we manage the trick like the Enderby* squire. 

Wild Shelley,+ at starting all ears and all eyes, 
Who to get a good start all experiment tries, 
Yet contrived it so ill, as to throw out poor Gipsy, ^ 
Whom he rattled along as if he'd been tipsy. 
To catch them again ; but, though famous for speed, 
She never could touch § them, much less get a lead, 
So dishearten'd, disjointed, and beat, home he swings. 
Not much unlike a fiddler hung upon strings. 

An H. H.|| who in Leicestershire never had been, 
So of course such a tickler ne'er could have seen. 
Just to see them throw off, on a raw horse was mounted, 
Who a hound had ne'er seen, nor a fence had confronted. 
But they found in such style, and went off at such score. 
That he could not resist the attempt to see more : 
So with scrambling, and dashing, and one rattling fall, 
He saw all the fun, up to Stretton's white Hall. 
There they anchor'd, in plight not a little distressing — 
The borse being raw, he of coarse got a dressing. 
That wonderful mare of Yanueck's, who till now 
By no chance ever tired, was taken in tow : 
And what's worse, she gave Yan such a devilish jog 
In the face with her head, plunging out of a bog, 
That with eye black as ink, or as Edward's famed Prince, 
Half blind has he been, and quite deaf ever since. 
But let that not mortify thee, Shacabac ; IT 
She only was blown, and came home a" rare hack. 

There Craven too stopp'd, whose misfortune, not fault, 
His mare unaccountably' vex'd with string-halt ; 
And when she had ceased thus spasmodic to prance. 
Her mouth 'gan to twitch with St. Yitus's dance. 
But how shall described be the fate of Rose Price, 
Whose &v'rite white gelding convey'd him so nice 

• Where Mr. Loraine Smith lives. t Usually very grave. 

t Sir John Shelley's mare. ( Melton dialect for ** overtake.*' 

y These initials may serve either for Hampshire hog or Hampshire Hant. 
% A name taken from Blue Beard, and given to Mr. Vanneck by tiis Melton 


Throngli thick aud through thin, that he vow'd and protested * 

No money should part them, as long as life lasted ? 

But the pace that effected which money could not : 

For to part, and in death, was their no distant lot. 

In a fata] blind ditch Carlo Khan's t powers fail'd, 

Where nor lancet nor laudanum either availed. 

More care of a horse than he took, could take no man ; 

He'd more straw than would serve any lying-in woman. 

Still he died ! — yet just how, as nobody knows. 

It may truly be said, he died " under the Rose." 

At the death of poor Elhan, Melton feels such remorse. 

That they've christen'd that ditch, " The Yale of White Horae." 

Thus ended a chase, which for distance and speed 
It's fellow we never have heard of or read. 
Every species of ground ev'ry horse does not suit. 
What's a good country hunter may here prove a brute ; 
And, unless for all sorts of strange fences prepared, 
A man and his horse are sure to be scared. 
This variety gives constant life to the chase ; 
But as Forester says — " Sir, what kills, is the pace." 
In most other countries they boast of their breed, 
For carrying, at times, such a beautiful head ; 
But these hounds to carry a head cannot fail. 
And constantly too, for, — by George, — there's no tail. 
Talk of horses, and hounds, and the system of kennel. 
Give me Leicestershire nags, and the hounds of Old Meynell ! 

No. IV. 


The following song, referring to the period when Mr. Smith was 
** King of Quom,":}: may be deemed deserving of insertion in this work. 
It was composed about the year 1813, by the Rev. Dr. Ford, vicar 
of Melton Mowbray for forty-five years. He was a native of Bristol, 
and was very popular with the members of the Melton Hunt for 
his wit and social qualities. The late Mr. Femeley, who found a copy 
of it among some old papers, remarked, on furnishing it to the writer of 

* At the cover side a large earn was oflSered for it. t Mr. Price's horse. 

t Vide Omptiet n, pataim. 


this memoir, " That was the best time I have known at Melton, where 
I have been a resident since 1818." 


Withal, as large a charter as the wind. 
To blow on whom I please ; for so fools haye; 
And they that are most g^ed with my folly. 
They most mast laugh." — Shaespsabi. 

I siKG Fox-hunting, and the gen'rons rage 
Which spurs the noble youth of this new age, 
With careless toil, all for their country's good. 
To rid us of those vermin of the wood 
That nightly steal, and for their luncheon hoard 
The poultry which should smoke upon our board. 
* Such feats adventurous through the hard-run day. 
From dull November to all charming May, 
Gall for the poet's best and readiest rhyme 
In strains at once familiar and sublime. 
Oh I could my muse resemble such a chase. 
And with the riders keep an equal pace. 
Though cautious, bold ; cool, yet with ardour fired ; 
Free, without check ; impetuous, yet uatired. 

Ye knowing sportsmen, foremost of the lead. 
Who keep no turnpike, and no fences heed ; 
Who crack the echoing whip, go off in style. 
Enjoy the sport, and pace through every wile — 
Now found, now lost, and now again in view — 
The cunning fugitive ye close pursue : 
Ye hooted sencUors, who for me frank, 
Claiming post after post an unpaid thank ; 
Who, with yourselves, bring thousands yearly down 
To glut the cravings of this sharp-set town. 
Whose trickful tradesmen, farmers, rogues in grain, 
Thrive by your wants, and by your losses gain. 
Scramble who most at sight your bilU shall share, — 
'' Take in a hunter," and the booty 's fair : 
Be candid, hunters, if, once famed in Greek, 
Funtly your foreign dialect I speak. 
Up to your phrases, if I'm found unable. 
Not tutor'd in the science of your stable. 
Besides our tribe you know scarce hunt at all 
Save for preferment, and the well-cribb'd stall ; 


Tet by your partial notice made tlitis rich^ 
Baised by your &vour8 to my hvMmr*t pitch, 
111 try to set the table whilst you quaf^ 
If not on roar, on a facetious laugh. 
Whilst spice of Latin shall with harmless jest, 
Like poignant CayefMie, give my olio zest. 

Not as their fathers erst " with early horn," 
Our modern hunters now '' salute the morn," 
'Tis noon, ere these in scarlet bright array 
Commence th' achievements of the dubious day, 
Each on his steed, sleek-coated and high fed. 
From tire to dam in calendar well bred ; 
For in the jockey*8 heraldry the stud 
Must boast descent from ancestry of blood ; 
As well you might a hobby-harae bestride. 
As mount a roadster of no lineal pride. 
Here blacks, browns, bays, and chestnuts, most renown*d 
For spirit, temper, shape, price, fill the gpround ; 
Each brags his favourite prowess in the field, 
" My ffrey mare to no better horse BhBiH yield /* 
But Forester's fine eye and single glance 
Finds out the latent blemish as they prance ; 
Beep skilled to sciyi the solid worth that lies 
In horses, men, and their true qualities. 
Hear him but talk, what music on his tongue ! 
It cheers the old, it fascinates the young : 
Look in his face, no doubt the counterpart. 
The honest, liberal sentiment of heart. 
Hark forward how they bear ; nor them restrains. 
Or driving blast, or storm with drenching rains. 
What springs they make, o'er ditches, post, and rail. 
And dash and plunge through Bdvoir*s stick-fast vale I 
In at the death 'tis glorious to arrive ; 
To claim the brush, no mean prerogative : 
Thrown out, and some thrown off, besplash'd with mire, 
A motley group — peer — ^parson — grazier — squire. 

Home safe retum'd, how changed ! studious they dress, 
In newest fashion for the sumptuous mess ; 
Set out with Lucry's complete bill of &re : 
Fish by the mail— delicious, costly, rare ; 
High-seasoned dishes, — fricassees — ragotits. 
All that the sav'ry pamp'ring art can do. 


They eat like huntera, irequent bumpers drain, ! 

Of flayonr'd claret and of brisk champagne. 

Fliifih*d with the grape, like Persia's prince grown vaio, 

They thrice each bullfinch charge, and thrice " they slay the dain** 

Whbbe Smith would draw, what lengths wiiAifi^men go, 

To break them into service passing show ! 

" Saddle White Surrey for the field to-morrow." 
But ah ! unlooked-for, to their spleen and sorrow. 
The next day " comes a frost, a killing frost," 
All's at a stand, and all their pleasure cross'd. 
To town some scamper, and the odds are even, 
Who first get seats in Chapel of St, Stephen, 
To do their duty there, State flaws detect, 
Invent new laws, and trespasses correct ; 
The frost now gone, they're down again in mind. 
And motion quicker than the verging wind. 
To sober whist, some soberly betake. 
Though deep the rubber, deeper yet the stake, 
Fix'd as stanch pomters to a practised set, 
Well read in HoyUf on every deal who bet : 
And cards play'd out, what a confused din 
Of blame, or praise, as the sets lose or win ! 
" You play'd the Knave, you might have pUy*d the Deuce,** — 
" You drew Skudi forced my Queen.** — " Pray, spare abuse." 
'^ You cut my hand to pieces, threw away 
Your highest diamond, and you call this Play ? " — 
*' There a cool fifty goes ! Before we part. 
Take my advice, get Bob Short's rules by heart." 
So oft began the midnight conversation. 
So closed as oft in mutual altercation. 

But now a scene how brilliant hath ta'en place. 
Where beauty, elegance, and softest grace, 
Of highest female rank — resistless can 
Charm and control that lawless creature, man ; 
Improve his morals, harmonize his heart. 
And tenderness to fortitude impart I 
School of PolitenesSf be our club hence named. 
For kindest conjugal atteDtion famed, 
Each well deserving that pure bliss of life. 
The sweet endearments of a lovely wife; 
Be Benedict of Beatrice possess'd, 
Like Cavendish, Fowlett, Worcester, Plymouth bless'd. 
Like Forester 

TBE QUOBN IN 1816. 211 

. ..»'.. I leave a leng^en'd space ' 
Where hachdors fwlmn may find a place ; 
Aylesford and Dartmouth, gallant Craven, May, 
Ail-polish'd Mayler, and Sir Robert Gay. 

This round of labour ruddy health insures, 
To courage stirs, to hardiness inures ; 
Thus train'd, my masters, you would meet the foe 
Furious to battle, as to covert go. 
A cavalry already form'd the French to rout. 
And Tally-ho ! your frantic war-whoop, shout. 
But hold ! our furrows in the blade look green. 
Our burdened ewes their tender lambs 'gin yean ; 
Timely you cease, of damages afraid, 
Nor injure lands for summer crops new laid. 
Pastures revive— foxes shall breed and rear. 
Strong and inviting cubs for next Leaf Yeab. — Shallow. 

No. V. 


Mb. Bbuoe Campbell, in a letter to the Nottingham Giiwrdian, 
published soon after the death of Mr. Assheton Smith, thus describes 
one of his famous leaps, which, he says, eclipsed anything he had ever 
witnessed.* ''It was in the year 1816, the Quom hounds were coming 
witn their fox from Garendon Park for Breedon Cloud or Donnington 
Park. Over the ox-fields, near Langley Priory, they came, not mute 
yet not very musical (the scent was too good to allow of that accom- 
paniment), stems down, heads up, no one with them except their 
owner. Between the old Priory and Diseworth Grange there is a 
mill-dam, deep and wide, which the hounds crossed, and well up with 
them their dauntless master charged it at fuU gallop, clearing the 
same in the most gallant and successful style. He was followed, but 
not in equal fiishion, by one of his whippers-in. The rest of the field, 
in over-due time, came up, but, on seeing the 'awfal guph,' they one 
and all turned east and west, and tried, as best they could, to regain 
the line of the hounds." 

We find in the Sporting Magazine tor A-pnl, 1808, the following account 
of the curious termination of a memorable run : — " The inhabitants of 
Granby Street, Leicester, were, on Saturday, the 9th March last, agreea- 
bly surprised by the termination of a fox-chase. The Quom hounds found 

« Kid0Note,i«ges6. 


a fox at Stewart's Hay, from whence he broke in gallant ityle for Mar- 
tinihaw, Enderby, and Aylestone Grorse ; altimately he came over the 
South Fields, croned the Dew Walk, and after a ma of three hoon (the 
last three miles ¥rithoiit a check), took refuge under a shed in the wood- 
yard of Mr. Harrison, in Leicester, with the hounds close at his brush. 
Mr. Assheton Smith, as utual [jnc], at the tail of his hounds, suc- 
ceeded, after much trouble, in dragging Beynard from his hiding- 
place, and after pocketing his brush, gave him up to his pursuers. 
Being the only red-eotU present, he took charge 'of the pack, and as 
ably headed them to kennel, as he had gallantly followed them during 
the chase." 

No. VI. 


Wheh Mr. Smith first hunted Southgrove (vide page 39), the foxes 
were inclined to "hang in covert " all day long. The wood had previously 
been part of the Craven country, and, being at a considerable distance 
from the kennel there, was not regularly drawn ; consequently, the 
foxes took to "ringing " round, instead of going away when pressed hy 
hounds. To obviate this, Mr. Smith took down thither forty couple 
of hounds, and, shutting up half of them in a bam, he worked the 
foi^es for two or three hours with the first pack, then he let loose the 
other twenty couple. A finer crash was never listened to ; but the 
object was not obtained— no fox broke — and he returned home with- 
out a bmsh. "I'll try another plan next week," said he to the 
relator of this anecdote, ''and see if I do not make them Jly or die." 
Accordingly, on the next hunting-day, to his friend's surprise, he saw 
a number of fires lighted, at intervals of about a hundred yards, all 
through the principal rides. No sooner were the hounds thrown in 
and Beynard a-foot, than off two or three foxes went towards the 
forest, no doubt ignorant of the cause qtta tantum accenderet ignem. 
From that time foxes never hung much in that covert, which was the 
very best in the hont. On the next meeting of the Graven Hunt 
(betwixt whom and the squire there was then a little jealousy, by the 
way,) some one inquired, "Where is Mr. Ireson?" (the steward of 
Lord Ailesbury, to whom Southgrove belonged, a regular attendant 
in the hunting-field, and a gallant horseman). " Why," replied a fine 
old sportsman, the Bev. Fulwar Fowle, " do you not know that he is 
gone to the Sun Fire Office to insv/re Southgrove f" 




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